Coffee & Fertility

Why Skip Your Morning Cup of Coffee?

Here is a quote from Jane Lyttleton’s book: Treatment of Infertility with Chinese Medicine ISBN 0-443-06640-X.


A large study carried out by the Yale Medical School found that the risk of infertility (which they defined as not being able to conceive after 12 months) was 55% higher for women drinking just 1 cup of coffee per day, 100% higher for women drinking 1.5-3 cups per day and 176% higher for more than 3 cups per day and this was backed backed up 5 years later by a study in Europe which found that high caffeine intake in women slowed rates of conception. The effect of caffeine on the fertility of men has not been examined so much but one study did find a delay in conception related to caffeine intake though the dose was not important. Additionally, there is evidence that coffee drinking in men and women increases miscarriage rates and that caffeine intake during pregnancy has a negative influence on fetal growth. Most studies indicate that it is the consumption of 300 mg or more of caffeine daily that can lead to fertility problems. It is estimated that more than 20% of Australians and Americans drink more than 350 mg per day.

So, coffee drinkers having difficulty falling pregnant may well be advised to reduce their intake significantly or switch to low-caffeine varieties of tea or to find alternatives for their morning and afternoon cuppas.

Resources from quote:

Dulgosz L. Brachs M B 1992 Coffee reduces fertility. Epidemiologic Reviews 14:83

Bolumar F. Olsen J. Rebagliato M. Bisanti L 1997 Caffeine intake and delayed conception: a European multicenter studyon infertility and sub-fecundity. European Study Group on Infertility and Sub-fecundity. American Journal of Epidemiology 145(4):324-334.

Curtis K M, Savitz D A, Arbuckle T E 1997 Effects of cigarette smoking, caffeine consumption, and alcohol intake on fecundability. American Jornal of Epidemiology 146(I):32-41.

Infante-Rivard C. Fernandez A. Gauthier R. David M. Rivard G E 1993 Fetal loss associated with caffeine intake before and during pregnancy. Jornal of American Medical Association 270(24):2940-2943.

Ford J H. MacCormack L. Hiller J 1994 Pregnancy and lifestyle study. Mutation Research 313:153-164.

Yale study:

Yale University School of Medicine, Epidemiological Reviews Vol 14, pg 83, 1992

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