Caffeine Maybe Linked to Infertility
You may have heard that caffeine isn’t good for you when you’re trying to conceive. Is this true? Is caffeine linked to infertility? The simple answer is “maybe.”
Currently, there’s no conclusive evidence to support or reject the possibility that the two may be linked. Researchers are conflicted on this issue. A number of research studies have found a link between caffeine consumption and your ability to conceive. Others haven’t found any correlation between the two.
Caffeine and Infertility: Studies that Confirm the Link
According to a 2011 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, caffeine can indeed harm your fertility. Caffeine consumption may make it harder for you to conceive. Caffeine stops the action of specialized cells in the fallopian tubes that coordinate tubal contractions. When there are no contractions, the eggs can’t move down the fallopian tube and into your uterus. Normal conception cannot take place, as a result. However, the woman is at higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy – a complication that occurs when the embryo develops in the fallopian tube.
Lead researcher, Dr. Sean Ward of the University of Nevada School of Medicine, performed the study on mice, which have similar reproductive organs as humans. The amount of caffeine given to the mice to produce infertility is equivalent to a few cups of coffee for humans. Professor Ward said that more research is needed to learn the level of caffeine needed to actually reduce a woman’s fertility.
In the past, other studies have also contributed caffeine consumption to infertility. A 1993 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that women who consumed 300 milligrams of caffeine a day (roughly 3 cups of coffee) were 27 percent less likely to conceive a baby. This same study also noted that women who only drank one or two cups of coffee a day lowered their chance of getting pregnant by 10 percent.
Caffeine and Fertility: Studies that Conclude There’s No Link
There have been several other research studies that examined the link between caffeine and infertility, and found the opposite was true. Caffeine can sometimes boost your chances of conception.
In 1994, a study from Radboud University in the Netherlands discovered that women who drank between 400 and 700 milligrams of caffeine daily were more likely to conceive, compared to women who consumed fewer caffeine. After 700 milligrams, however, researchers found that it was harder for women to conceive.
A 1998 study published in the journal, Reproductive Toxicology, found that women who drank half a cup of tea on a daily basis doubled their chance of getting pregnant with each cycle. Drinking coffee, soda, and other caffeinated drinks had no effect on boosting fertility.