Stick To Decaf

July 20, 2010

To date, several studies have suggested the same conclusion: caffeine consumption is associated with a reduction in fertility. If you just can't live without coffee, don't freak—you'd have to go way beyond the typical two cups a day habit for your caffeine consumption to have any impact on your fertility.

Reduced fertility has been seen only in those women who ingest more than 300 mg. of caffeine daily. Meantime, an average cup of Joe contains only 100-130 mg. of caffeine. That means you can have 1 or even 2 cups a day without putting a dent in your fertility. It is important to remember that beverages other than coffee contain the dreaded caffeine, for instance black or green tea, brewed strong. Even carbonated drinks tend to be loaded with caffeine.

IVF Procedures

On the other hand, if you're thinking of having an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure, you need to cut way back on caffeine. Experts state that even one cup of weak tea containing only 50 mg. of caffeine can have a deleterious effect on your ability to conceive via IVF.

Still, caffeine has received a great deal of focus over the years as a substance suspected of not only reducing fertility but for causing birth defects, as well. The conclusion of the experts is that if you're having fertility issues, you might want to cut out all caffeinated products from your diet, whether or not you plan to have an IVF procedure.

Morals Question

One of the issues that relates to caffeine intake is the effect of this substance on early pregnancy. During early pregnancy, a woman may not even know she has conceived. Caffeine may be dangerous to the developing embryo. It's hard to know for sure, since studies on the subject can't be performed in good conscience on pregnant women. It's a question of morals. 

The various schools of thought about caffeine cannot be termed conclusive evidence, but it has been demonstrated that caffeine intake has a negative impact on sperm motility (sperm movement). This fact is in part responsible for the linkage between caffeine consumption and the overall reduction in fertility among both genders.

One San Francisco-based study performed with 1,063 women in the early stages of pregnancy found that women with a caffeine intake of 200 mg. doubled their rates for miscarriage. You'd have to drink 2 cups of coffee, five cans of soda pop, or have 5 cups of tea to get to that point. But there are other, healthier ways to heighten energy levels. Experts suggest taking a brisk walk or noshing on trail mix, instead of having that cup of java.

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