How Does Caffeine Affect Fertility

With a future pregnancy in mind, you may be worried about the correlation between caffeine and infertility. Before embarking on trying to have a child, many mothers want to prepare their bodies to be in the healthiest state possible. This preparation can contain the textbook’s healthy habits: quit smoking, eat a balanced diet, and exercise regularly. Although there are some gray areas - caffeine is one of them. Does caffeine affect fertility?

Before you give up your cup of joe, understand the actual effect caffeine intake has on your body and it’s fertility. 

What is Female Fertility? 

Female fertility is a woman’s ability to conceive a biological child. Fertility may become a topic of concern when you and your partner have attempted to get pregnant with frequent unprotected sex for at least a year (or six months if you are over 35). When concerned about fertility you and your partner may want to know how to improve your fertility. This brings up the question: is any connection between caffeine and fertility?

Does Caffeine Affect Fertility in Females?

Caffeine can affect your body during pregnancy. Excessive amounts of caffeine can lead to lower birth weight and reduced blood flow through the placenta during pregnancy. Although, when it comes to effects on female fertility, specifically, the connection isn’t as straightforward. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, female fertility will not be affected by a moderate caffeine intake. Limit your daily caffeine intake to below 200 milligrams. This translates to about one or two 6-8 ounce cups of coffee a day.  

Remember that caffeine isn’t just found in coffee. Caffeine is in sodas, chocolate, and teas. Let’s break down the caffeine in popular beverages:

  • 8 oz of brewed coffee contains 96 mg of caffeine 
  • 8 oz of brewed black tea contains 47 mg of caffeine 
  • 8 oz of brewed green tea contains 28 mg of caffeine
  • 8 oz of cola contains about 22 mg of caffeine  

Make sure to take these into account when cutting down on your caffeine intake.

How to Promote Female Fertility

When starting our journey to try to have a baby, it is worth it to make necessary changes to make sure you are creating a safe environment for yourself and the baby. Although cutting out caffeine entirely may do more harm than good. 

According to Jeffery Roberts, an OB-GYN and co-director of the Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine, cutting out caffeine entirely can cause nagging headaches, leading to additional stress which can be worse for fertility than coffee. Moderate caffeine consumption is less likely to have an impact on your chances of getting pregnant than stress. 

Don’t let your morning routine make you feel guilty - a cup or two won’t hurt your chances of getting pregnant. 

Can Caffeine Affect Sperm Count?

Men aren’t off the hook either. Let’s take a look at male fertility and its connection to caffeine intake. A systematic review published in the Nutrition Journal looked at caffeine’s effects on semen quality, sperm DNA, and the time required to conceive. The thesis study didn’t find a connection between caffeine semen volume, sperm count, sperm concentration, or sperm motility. 

Men with moderate caffeine consumption, about three beverages a day, should not be worried about their fertility and ability to get their partner pregnant. 

Healthy Habits

Healthy lifestyle choices can boost fertility. To be proactive here are some healthy habits to incorporate into your day. 

Get Active

You probably knew exercise was useful for you but did you know it can promote fertility. Incorporating moderate physical activity into your day can promote fertility in men and women, especially those with obesity

Emphasis on the moderate! Excessive exercise in women is associated with decreased fertility. Make sure to balance your daily routine and when increasing activity make sure to do it gradually. 

Quit Smoking

Tobacco is associated with lower fertility. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine  found that infertility rates in both male and female smokers are about twice the rate of infertility found in nonsmokers. If you do smoke, talk to your health care provider for resources to help you quit.  

Add Antioxidants 

Antioxidants like folate and zinc can promote fertility for both men and women. This is due to their ability to deactivate the free radicals in your body that can damage both sperm and egg cells. 

The Biology of Reproduction contains one study that shows a link between men’s consumption of walnuts and improved sperm quality. Another study found that a diet high in folate was linked to higher reproductive success. 

Although this correlation may not be strong enough, eating an antioxidant-rich diet can’t hurt. 

Slow Down Happy Hour

Your weekly Happy Hour or girls’ night out can negatively impact your fertility. A study in The BMJ showed that consuming more than 14 or more alcohol drinks per week is associated with taking longer to get pregnant.  

There is no strong evidence showing moderate alcohol consumption can impact fertility. Your best bet is to take it easy on the alcoholic beverages but a glass of wine or one cocktail at happy hour won’t affect your fertility.   

The Bottom Line

Healthy choices and all-around good nutrition are crucial to prepare your body for pregnancy, leading to a more enjoyable pregnancy for you and your future child. If you’re hoping to become pregnant and concerned about your fertility, consult with a healthcare provider to get personal advice and recommendations. 

The Modamily Mission 

Modamily is a network where hopeful future parents can meet other like-minded people who dream of starting a family. Not only does Modamily aim to connect people who want to raise a child with a similar environment and values, but it creates a resource of information about all things pregnancy and baby related. 

Modamily provides information to guide you in reaching the ultimate pregnancy health and well-being, supporting you and your future family.