Fertility, pregnancy and caffeine – how much is too much? Is it bad while TTC (trying to conceive)? Is decaf ok?
Caffeine and sugar are some of the most widely available and addictive drugs in the world, at least half of Americans have a daily dose of this dark, warm stuff that gets you going in the morning, many of us adding ungodly amounts of sugars, milks, chemicals, coloring and the list goes on, depending on whether you brew at home or make that daily indulgent 15 minute Starbucks stop.
Whether it’s coffee, chocolate, cola sodas, or tea caffeine takes it’s toll. It’s a nervous system stimulant, and with that comes increased risk of miscarriage if one is newly pregnant. Some studies demonstrate an increase in the risk of miscarriage with caffeine intake greater than 200 mg of caffeine per day (twice the miscarriage rate, 25.5%, as compared to nonusers, having a 12.5% chance of miscarriage.
Researchers suggest that caffeine should be limited during the first trimester, and now it’s looking like coffee and caffeine may not he best best drug of choice if you are trying to get pregnant, whether you are trying naturally or moving forward with and IVF (in vitro fertilization) or ICSI fertility treatment. Not only will women drinking caffeine take longer to fall pregnant, but one study showed that of the patients undergoing IVF, women who consumed even modest amounts of caffeine, about 50 mg, were likely to have decreased live birth rates. No one can pinpoint why this is happening or what the exact mechanism is. Some studies in mice suggest that caffeine might inhibit oocyte maturation, effecting egg quality and the ability to get pregnant and have a healthy baby, but more studies need to be done.
So what’s a caffeine addict to do if she is pregnant or trying to get pregnant? Of course ask your doctor or fertility health care provider what they recommend based on your health history and current situation, but to be safe, it may be best to discontinue caffeine, coffee products and stimulant consumption until more is know about it’s effects on trying to conceive as well as pregnancy.