To coffee or not to coffee? Can coffee prevent you from getting pregnant? Can coffee encourage miscarriage? 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 its 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 coffee and caffeine should be limited during preconception care (about 3 months before you intend to conceive), and the first trimester. If you are trying naturally or moving forward with and IVF (in vitro fertilization) or ICSI fertility treatment, you may want to take this into account. 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 known about its effects on trying to conceive as well as pregnancy.