Drinking Too Much Coffee Reduces Women’s Fertility

A recent study conducted by Dutch researchers suggests that woman who drinks too much coffee can develop fertility problems. The study was conducted using around 9,000 women who had received IVF, to see if they could get pregnant naturally.

Drinking more than 4 cups of coffee per day, cut their chances of conceiving naturally by around 26%, as only one in seven managed to get pregnant naturally.

Experts were divided at the European Conference where the findings were discussed. The majority agreed that this only applied to women who had problems with poor fertility, and wanted to maximise their chances of getting pregnant.

Radboud University in Nijmegan had a team of researchers study all the women who had received IVF treatment between 1985 and 1995 in the Netherlands.

They found that 16% of the women that undergone the treatment went on to become pregnant naturally. 45% of those did so within 6 months.

Lifestyle factors, affecting women’s chances of getting pregnant, were analysed by using questionnaires.
The truth was shocking. Excessive caffeine intake carried about the same risk as drinking alcohol 3 times a week.

Another fact that became very transparent was that being overweight and smoking more than one cigarette a day decreased the chances of getting pregnant even further.

The researchers estimated that a 36 year old woman would have only a 5% chance of getting pregnant naturally, if she drank too much coffee, smoked, was overweight, and drank alcohol.

The same women’s chances would have been 15% if she did none of the above and had a healthy weight.

The Limitations

“Patients should be advised how they can maximise their chances of a natural pregnancy.” Dr. Bea Linsten, who led the research team, told the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Barcelona.

“We have to remind our patients that they may influence their chance of spontaneous pregnancy after IVF with a healthy lifestyle.”

The findings of the study had to be examined with caution however, some experts have warned.
“Whilst the results of this study are interesting, there are evidently limitations to these findings as post IVF patients are a selective group who have already experienced problems with conception.” Said Fiona Ford, of the Centre for Pregnancy Nutrition.

“There is nothing within this study that provides a reason to change guidance to patients.”
“There is no convincing support for the claim that coffee was linked to delayed conception.” She cited from previous research.

University of Sheffield’s fertility expert, Professor Bill Ledger said, “Caffeine could potentially have a mild, but toxic, effect on ovaries and sperm, which could be a problem for those with poor fertility.”

“A lot of women can have 20 cups of coffee a day and get pregnant while falling of a log, but if you’re already sub fertile, it could push you over the edge.” He added.

“There is no need to cut caffeine or coffee out of the diet completely. Scientific evidence demonstrates that for pregnant women, or those trying to conceive, up to 300mg of caffeine per day is perfectly safe.” Zoe Wheeldon, from the British Coffee Association said.

Freddie Pretorius is a full time researcher and also founder of a website that is dedicated to help couples get pregnant easier using a natural approach. Go to http://www.GetPregnantWeb.com if you require more information on beating infertility.

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