Coffee & Infertility

Starbucks is the meeting place of the coffee elite… half, non-fat, double espresso, triple shot….. They have their own language but after satisfying the palate, what price do we pay.

Here are a few statements from the medical literature:

  1. Caffeine can interfere with the contractions of the muscles in the fallopian tube, so the egg stops getting transported. British Journal of Pharmacology, 2011.
  2. Caffeine makes it more difficult for insulin produced in the body to control the blood sugar leading to insulin resistance and this can cause a woman not to ovulate. Diabetes, 2005.
  3. Drinking at least three cups of coffee a day lowered the chance of conceiving a child by 27 percent. American Journal of Epidemiology, 1993
  4. A diet abundant in caffeine may result in delayed conception, infertility and increased risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and cancer later in life. Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics, 2008.

A pregnancy occurs when the egg released from the woman’s ovaries joins the sperm from the male partner. This union occurs in the fallopian tubes. Those tubes need to contract to bring the egg and sperm together. Once joined this newly formed union called a zygote is brought into the womb where it can implant and begin the growth of a new baby.

The caffeine in that cup of coffee might relax these muscles in the fallopian tubes and cause them not to contract as well. This could result in a miscarriage, the pregnancy getting stuck in the tube (ectopic pregnancy) or the pregnancy can’t implant in the womb at all. So you might want to take a look at your caffeine intake, especially if you have had problems with infertility or currently undergoing treatment.

Caffeine is a plant-based stimulant that is chemically similar to drugs like morphine, nicotine, and cocaine. It has also been shown to cause nausea, irritability, jitters, anxiety, fast heartbeat and depression. In addition to coffee, caffeine is also found in other things like chocolate, cocoa, tea, caffeinated sodas and even some medications.

We always encourage anyone trying to conceive to eat well, reduce stress, comfortable exercise and reduce habits like smoking and alcohol intake. Now maybe it’s a good idea to take a look at your caffeine intake too. However, there are still conflicts within the medical literature, as other studies have not proven a relationship between caffeine and infertility. More research needs to be done. Also the inability to get pregnant can come from many different reasons like a mechanical blockage in the tubes, lack of ovulation or low sperm counts. But this is something you can control and at least think about. Many researchers suggest limiting caffeine intake to less the 200 mg per day. It is worth giving yourself the best chance to have a healthy pregnancy and you may possibly save a little money too.

Milligrams Ounces
Restaurant Coffee 350 Mg 8 Ounces
Restaurant Coffee 350 Mg 8 Ounces
Gourmet Coffee 175 Mg 8 Ounces
Brewed Coffee 115 Mg 5 Ounces
Single Shot of Expresso Coffee 100 Mg
Cappuccino 100 Mg 8 Ounces
Instant Coffee 57 Mg 6 Ounces
Decaffeinated Coffee 5 Mg 5 Ounces
Brewed Tea 20 – 110 Mg 6 Ounces
Iced Tea 70 Mg 12 Ounces
Instant Tea 30 Mg 7 Ounces
Coke has 30 – 56 Mg 12 Ounces
Diet Coke/can 38 – 45Mg
Sprite &amp 7Up are caffeine free
Chocolate 10 – 50Mg 2 Ounces
Cocoa 4 Mg 6 Ounces
Pain Relievers 1 Tablet is 30Mg and up