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Caffeine and Fertility: Everything you need to know

Caffeine and Fertility

If there is one thing I need at least once a day, it’s a good old cup of joe. Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning? It might get you thinking though, about the effects caffeine has on your fertility. One cup of coffee has 95mg of caffeine. A cup of tea has 27mg and do not get me started on those energy drinks that you might need on those all-nighters. Caffeine is pretty difficult to cut out of our daily diet entirely so let’s explore the effects this energy-boosting goodness has on fertility!

Is there a relationship?

As of now, there is no clear and concise relationship that has been identified between the chances of becoming pregnant and caffeine intake. There is a relationship between caffeine intake during early pregnancy and the risk of experiencing a spontaneous abortion. The risk increased with increasing consumption of caffeine. 

Nevertheless there are some studies that could prove to be of interest. One of them is a report published in 1998 in Reproductive Toxicology. It demonstrated that women who drank between 300 to 700 milligrams of caffeine a day suffered a 12% lower chance of achieving a pregnancy. As caffeine intake increased, the probability of conceiving fell by 37%. In 2008, Dutch researchers announced that in their study of nearly 9,000 women with fertility issues, those who drank four or more cups of coffee, or some other kind of caffeinated drink, on a daily basis were 26% less likely to become pregnant

Another study published in Clinical Epidemiology supported the hypothesis that increased caffeine consumption results in higher chances of spontaneous abortion. There was no relationship established between caffeine consumption and fertility treatment outcomes.

What dosage is recommended?

This one is a little difficult because again, we are still learning about the connection between caffeine intake and fertility. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and World Health Organization (WHO) advise limiting caffeine consumption to a maximum of two to three cups of coffee/200-300mg caffeine per day.

Caffeine and Fertility Treatments

Fertility specialists often recommend not consuming caffeine and alcohol during fertility treatments. The study “Alcohol and Caffeine Consumption and Decreased Fertility,” published in Fertility and Sterility demonstrates just that. More than 100 women were included in the study. Their urine samples were analyzed each day. They were 50% less likely to become pregnant when drinking alcohol. However, alcohol is not our topic of interest here. The caffeine is. The role of the caffeine was interesting. Rather than directly decreasing fertility the caffeine enhanced the detrimental impact of the alcohol on fertility. 

“Couples’ Pre-Pregnancy Caffeine Consumption Linked to Miscarriage Risk,” is another study of interest performed by National Institutes of Health. The study showed that the likelihood of a woman having a miscarriage increases when both her and her partner drink at least two caffeinated drinks a day. This possibly hints that the caffeine intake is not only impacting fertility in women but may influence the fertility in men too. The study also illustrated that if a woman consumed more than two caffeinated beverages a day during her first 7 weeks of pregnancy she is more likely to miscarry.

The takeaway

I don’t think I could give up coffee. It’s the only way I get through my day! However there seems to be some sort of correlation between caffeine intake and fertility though this relationship has not been completely established yet. Make sure you talk to your doctor and let them know about important aspects of your lifestyle (such as caffeine consumption) that could help them help YOU make the best decisions moving forward. Different aspects of our lifestyle can have drastic impacts on fertility. Would you like to see a series of blog posts about the influence of lifestyle on fertility? Let us know!

References:

  1. Lyngsø, Julie et al. “Association between coffee or caffeine consumption and fecundity and fertility: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis.” Clinical epidemiology vol. 9 699-719. 15 Dec. 2017, doi:10.2147/CLEP.S146496
  2. Mehta Rinku, “ The Facts About Alcohol and Caffeine During Fertility Treatment,” Dallas IVF, https://dallasivf.com/alcohol-caffeine-fertility-treatment/#:~:text=of%20becoming%20pregnant.-,Avoid%20alcohol%20and%20caffeine%20during%20fertility%20treatment,and%20caffeine%20during%20fertility%20treatment.
  3. “Couples’ pre-pregnancy caffeine consumption linked to miscarriage risk” National Institutes of Health, https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/couples-pre-pregnancy-caffeine-consumption-linked-miscarriage-risk#:~:text=Because%20their%20study%20found%20caffeine,Buck%20Louis%20said.
  4. Hakim RB, Gray RH, Zacur H. Alcohol and caffeine consumption and decreased fertility [published correction appears in Fertil Steril 1999 May;71(5):974]. Fertil Steril. 1998;70(4):632-637. doi:10.1016/s0015-0282(98)00257-x
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