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Can drinking coffee affect fertility in men and women?

Drinking coffee can certainly promote the flow of blood in certain parts of the body, and this comes with potential benefits.

This is in addition to it being a natural stimulant. Yet there is no clearest of adequate evidence in research literature that shows coffee can negatively affect our fertility, either in terms of sperm quality or ability of women to get pregnant. Yet the recommended amount of up to 5 cups (1.18 liters) per day is the safest bet.

Coffee drinking does not lower fertility in men

The debate about the effects of drinking coffee on fertility is of interest to many people since the publication of a research study in 1988. According to this study, women are half less likely to conceive if they took a cup of coffee per day. The problem with this study is that there is no other that replicated its findings.

However, many studies done on the link between the effects of drinking coffee and fertility are largely unclear and insufficient to provide clear conclusions on the matter. In other words, there is no consistent evidence that taking coffee, even more than recommended servings per day, can reduce or increase fertility.

Coffee does not affect womens’ fertility

One study analyzed the effects of coffee on women who took more than 300 mg of caffeine per day and found no evidence of negative effects on fertility. These women had the same fertility rates as those who drank less than 100 mg of caffeine per day. In fact, according to this study, the likelihood of women getting pregnant was higher for women who drank two or more servings of tea per day than those who didn’t consume tea.

A co-director of the Pacific Center for Reproductive Medicine in Burnaby verified the statement above that coffee will not affect fertility negatively. Not just when we drink less or a maximum of 5 cups (1.18 liters) (1.18 l) a day as per recommendation: there is no evidence that drinking too much coffee will cause negative fertility results although a 2017 study found that more than four cups of coffee intake a day could spoil sperm shape. A cup of coffee will have an average of 85 mg although it can vary from 40 mg to 175 mg. Other studies do not find any relation between sperm count, motility and caffeine intake.

The co-director says although there could be research or studies suggesting that women who took more than five cups experienced delay in conceiving, there are many other factors or habits related to the drinking of coffee, which are to blame for these results.

In this study mentioned above, three servings of soda caused the lowest fertility rates in women compared to one soda serving per day. Soda and tea also have caffeine. Further, there is no evidence linking coffee to take to child effects or early childbirth or birth complications. Studies do not find a correlation between the two.

Vigilance for pregnant women

pregnant woman drinking coffee in bed

That doesn’t mean women who are pregnant should drink an excessive amount of coffee: actually, drinking less or a maximum of 5 cups (1.18 l) is what doctors will recommend. One reason is that drinking excess amounts won’t increase the benefits that come from drinking lots of coffee. Women who are pregnant can actually take coffee because the caffeine will help deal with migraines and headaches during this period, because these women may not be in a position to take other medication that could carry other side effects.

Some women are cautious about the intake of coffee when intending to get pregnant, so much that they stop taking it altogether. Their fear is based on some stories they have heard or read on the internet. However, if a woman cuts out her daily intake of coffee before, during and after pregnancy, they are likely to experience nagging headaches. This may actually pose some problems to fertility treatments. This beats the logic because stress can actually have a real impact on fertility.

Another study done in 2018 did not find any risk of infertility to women with the habit of drinking coffee. However, women who experience adverse fertility effects and cannot conceive at all may first want to find out the reasons that explain the problem. The advice that they can stop the intake of coffee altogether is outrageous because coffee may not be the cause, although some doctors prefer women to stay out of trouble. Further, women who experience problems of stopping coffee intake such as headaches may consider other methods of solving these problems such as through acupuncture. This can help in situations of experiencing constipation and loss of stools, which are other results of stopping coffee intake.

Still, another study found that women can have 25% less chances of having a baby when they take 4 cups of decaf or regular coffee per day. The study found out that caffeine in coffee or other products or drinks may also constrict blood vessels in the brain and reduce the flow of blood in the body. It can also cause increased levels of stress and anxiety, and this stress can be worse for pregnancy and even can reduce fertility.

Yet inconsistency in these studies is clear all over: for instance, it is not clear that caffeine can actually reduce the chance of pregnancy according to this article, where the same article claiming that caffeine can lower pregnancy rates, was posted. According to the claim, women can take longer to get pregnant if they drink large amounts of caffeine.

Coffee drinking does not lower sperm count or quality in men

man talking to a lady while drinking a coffee

Low sperm count is one more negative impact people say will arise if a man is drinking too much coffee before the conception of his wife. And studies link these two saying drinking too much coffee can reduce sperm count. A good example can be seen in the research article in this link. Drinking the recommended amount of coffee daily of not more than two caffeinated beverages a day according to the study; during the week leading up to conception, will not hurt conception.

How does drinking coffee exactly affect our semen quality? A study on the effect of drinking coffee on sperm quality, and which analyzed 19,697 men found that drinking coffee may lead to sperm DNA damage and affect male reproduction function. However, this is shocking because coffee may have the effect of preventing DNA from damage by oxidants given its antioxidant capabilities.

Given the unclear nature of all these studies, drinking the recommended amount of coffee per day is the safest bet because it allows you to avoid addiction. As such, this recommended amount is about 200 mg per day or up to five cups of coffee per day.


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