Coffee Consumption Possibly Detrimental to IVF Treatment

July 09, 2008 11:17 AM
by Anne Szustek
A study presented to the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology suggests infertility patients should cut back on caffeine intake to increase chances of conceiving.

30-Second Summary

A team of researchers led by Dr. Bea Linsten at Radboud University in the Dutch town of Nijmegen tracked the dietary habits of 9,000 women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment between 1985 and 1995 to gauge their likelihood of naturally conceiving a child.

The subjects filled out extensive questionnaires regarding their lifestyle and dietary habits to measure how various factors can affect the chances of becoming pregnant.

Around one in seven of the subject group became pregnant naturally, with some 45 percent of that group expecting within six months of their last IVF session. But among the women who drank four or more cups of coffee a day, the likelihood of becoming pregnant fell by 26 percent.

We have to remind our patients that they may influence their chance of spontaneous pregnancy after IVF with a healthy lifestyle,” Linsten was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Consuming alcohol at least three times a week was shown to have the same effects of drinking four cups of coffee a day. Smoking and being overweight were also shown to limit an IVF patient’s chance of pregnancy.

This is the latest of studies to ponder the effects of caffeine on fertility and pregnancy.

A 2002 study conducted by a group at the University of California, San Diego suggested that daily caffeine consumption of as little as 2–50 milligrams would make IVF recipients one-third as likely to conceive than women who had an average daily caffeine intake of two milligrams or less. A cup of coffee has about 100 milligrams of caffeine.

Headline Link: ‘Coffee “worsens poor fertility”’

Background: Coffee studies debate effects on women’s health

Coffee’s health benefits
Coffee’s health risks

Reference: Guides to coffee, caffeine and women’s fertility


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