Does caffeine affect fertility? (Do I really want to know the answer to this question?) When we're feeling tired and stressed at work, a cup of coffee packed with caffeine can help get us over the afternoon (or morning) hump. That cup o' joe is great for our co-workers -- we'll snap at them less! But what about our dreams of getting pregnant?
A recent study implies that too much coffee can have a negative effect on your fertility, especially if you already are dealing with fertility issues. The study looked at couples who went through IVF treatment, but later went on to try to conceive naturally. The study showed that drinking four or more cups of coffee a day reduced a couple's chance of conceiving by 26%.
Now, four cups is a lot of coffee. Most researchers say that if you stick to less than 300 mg of caffeine a day, you'll be safe. That's about two to three 5 oz. cups of coffee (depending on how strong the brew is).
Also, it's important to consider that previous studies failed to find a connection between caffeine and fertility. The topic is certainly up for debate.
Some studies have also found a possible link between miscarriage and coffee drinking. As with infertility, the studies that warn against caffeine say less than 300 mg a day should be OK. You can read more about the debate on coffee and miscarriage in this article, from Krissi Danielsson, the Guide to Miscarriages.
You don't have to cut out coffee completely. Just don't drink too much.
Speaking of drinking, is an occasional glass of wine safe? Click to read the next section, on getting pregnant, alcoholic drinks, and smoking.