Publications on the possible link between caffeine consumption, fertility and miscarriage frequently appear in the news. Despite the media attention regarding the effect of caffeine on fertility, we need to assess the published data carefully. Dr. Christopoulos explains:
What does the available research show?
The first reports on the potential impact of caffeine consumption on fertility date back to the 80s. In 2012, a large, prospective study including more than 3,000 women in Denmark was published. The Danish researchers investigated the link between fertility rates and the consumption of coffee, tea, and carbonate drinks.
This Danish study concluded that:
- Women consuming more than 300 mg of caffeine daily (more than one cup) demonstrated similar fertility rates compared to women did not drink caffeine.
- Women who drank two or more cups of tea daily were slightly more likely to conceive than those who did not drink any tea.
- Women who drank carbonated drinks were less likely to conceive in any given month than women who did not consume such beverages. There was a dose-dependent effect, as women who drank three carbonated drinks daily had worse pregnancy rates than women who drank only one.
A systematic review of the best available, research (published in 2017) investigated the potential dose-related effect of caffeine on time to conceive for couples trying to conceive naturally and couples undergoing fertility treatment. The researchers also examined the rate of miscarriage in women consuming various
The reviewers concluded that
- Drinking 300 mg of caffeine increased the risk of early miscarriage.
- Drinking 600 mg of caffeine appeared to double the risk of miscarriage.
- Caffeine did not impact the time required to conceive naturally.
- Caffeine intake also did not seem to negatively impact pregnancy rates for couples receiving fertility treatments.
How much caffeine is in my drink?
The following can act as a general guide only. Please read the caffeine intake of your selected drink as they may vary considerably from manufacturer to manufacturer.
- Brewed (250mls) = 95 to 200 mg
- Brewed, decaffeinated (250mls) = 1 to 25 mg
- Regular instant (250mls) = 27 to 173 mg
- Decaffeinated instant (250mls) = 2 to 12 mg
- Espresso (single and double) = 47 to 75 mg
- Starbucks Caffé Latte grande = 150 mg
- Black tea, brewed (250mls) = 40-60 mg
- Black tea, decaffeinated (250mls) = <5 mg
- Instant (250mls) = 5 mg
For soft and energy drinks:
- Cola drink (500mls) = 45 mg
- Red Bull (330mls) = 111 mg
What do we recommend as specialists?
Based on the current literature, it is sensible to limit your caffeine intake before and during fertility treatment to no more than 100mg. You may wish to switch to decaffeinated drinks and to stop all consumption of energy drinks and soft drinks. Dr. Christopoulos together with our experienced, clinical nutritionist will give you detailed instructions for the period before, during and after fertility treatment.
Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to discuss further.
- Lyngsø J1, Ramlau-Hansen CH1, Bay B2, Ingerslev HJ3, Hulman A1,4, Kesmodel US5.Association between coffee or caffeine consumption and fecundity and fertility: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis.Clin Epidemiol. 2017 Dec 15;9:699-719. doi: 10.2147/CLEP.S146496. eCollection 2017.
- Hatch EE, Wise LA, Mikkelsen EM, et al. Caffeinated beverage and soda consumption and time to pregnancy. Epidemiology. 2012;23(3):393–401. doi:10.1097/EDE.0b013e31824cbaac