• Dr Peter Chew

Coffee and conception

My friend tells me that drinking tea or coffee may affect my chances of conception. I am drinking 2 cups of coffee a day. How much caffeine do they contain? Will I get infertile as a result?

Tea and coffee contain caffeine which is a stimulatory drug to the nervous system. Researchers have suggested that its consumption may also affect the reproductive system.

In animal studies, caffeine has been shown to affect the maturation of egg. This may be a cause of infertility. In humans, one study showed that women who drank more than a cup of coffee a day have a 50% reduction of achieving conception compared to women who drank less. In patients undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), some researchers demonstrated that women who had a small cup of coffee (50 mg of caffeine) were likely to have decreased live birth rates. But these studies are not substantiated by many others.

Although there is no clear link between caffeine and infertility at present, many experts consider it safe to consume 200 to 300 milligrams (mg) of caffeine daily while trying to conceive.

The amount of caffeine in a serving of coffee or tea varies widely, depending on the type of beans or tea leaves, how it is prepared and brewed and also on the size of the cup served.

Below is the rough guide of the caffeine contents;

  • 350ml of instant coffee 100mg

  • 350ml of filter coffee 140mg

  • 350ml of tea 75mg

  • One can of cola 40mg

  • One can of energy drink 80mg

To manage your caffeine intake, it is important to note that there are other sources of caffeine such as cola, energy drinks, chocolate, and coffee ice cream. Caffeine is also present in over-the-counter products, including headache, cold, and allergy medications.

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