Most of us can’t start our day without a cup of coffee or tea … sometimes even needing two cups to help us make it through the day. But does drinking too much caffeine impact fertility? Maybe. Although the mechanism by which caffeine consumption may be linked to infertility is unclear, some studies have shown a link between caffeine intake and a woman’s ability to conceive.
Consumption of a high amount of caffeinated beverages daily (>300 mg/day – equivalent to nine caffeinated sodas or two 8-ounce cups of coffee) has been shown to prolong time to conception, to decrease fecundity, and to increase one’s risk of miscarriage. A study done in1998 showed that women who consumed less than one cup of coffee or its equivalent per day conceived 26.9 pregnancies per 100 menstrual cycles compared with 10.5 per 100 menstrual cycles among those who consumed any more than one cup of coffee per day.
Caffeine consumption has also been shown to reduce muscular activity in the fallopian tubes of mice, and it has been linked to endometriosis-related infertility. There is no clear evidence that caffeine consumption affects male fertility or adversely affects in vitro fertilization outcomes.
You do not need to go “cold-turkey” or eliminate all caffeine consumption when you’re trying to conceive. Taking in less than 200mg of caffeine a day is recommended, and you should gradually taper off to avoid withdrawal symptoms. It’s also important to remember to count all of your caffeine sources (i.e. cocoa, soft drinks, chocolate, etc.) when figuring how much to cut back when trying to conceive. And remember, you can always switch to decaf if you still want a hot cup of coffee in the mornings.