Caffeine and Infertility

Updated: Jan 3

Dr. Carney had many insights in her talk to the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii. One of the points that amazed me was the effect of caffeine on fertility.

She remarked that caffeine decreases fertility. She did not provide a reference to this point, so I did some research to back this claim. I found an article that discussed caffeine and sperm viability. The authors mentioned that caffeine can cause DNA breaks in the sperm. They stated that there is no clear causation between caffeine and fertility. They wanted “larger prospective cohort studies and especially with well-designed randomized controlled trials” to confirm causation. The problem with this is that no one will pay for these expensive trials! Thus, Dr. Carney had to infer a decrease in fertility coupled with her clinical practice. Eliminating caffeine intake is not expensive and is within everyone’s grasp. It may be difficult because caffeine is an addictive substance, but it is not impossible, and can be reduced gradually. For people who wish to conceive, stopping caffeine in both males and females has the potential to increase fertility.

Dr. Carney also stated that caffeine consumption was related to miscarriages and gave a reference. The 2016 study found that miscarriage was more likely when either the male or female partner consumed more than two caffeinated beverages a day. These effects were found with caffeine intake in the weeks prior to conception. After conception, the risk remained for females during the first seven weeks of pregnancy. Most fertility tests sold in pharmacy are taken after the first missed period which is usually 28 days after conception.

Caffeine is included in the reduction of harmful substances pillar of lifestyle medicine. I had not considered the connection between caffeine and fertility prior to hearing Dr. Carney’s talk. When I ride to work on my bicycle, I notice the long line ups for drive thru coffee. It is important to note, caffeine is found in many other beverages, including energy drinks, pop, chocolate, and tea. In this blog, I discuss only one risk associated with caffeine and there are many others. I have previously blogged about caffeine. Miscarriage is a traumatic experience. Please share this blog with anyone it might help. Thanks for reading! #lifestylemedicine #fertility #caffeinefree

Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash

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