It should come as no big surprise that researchers have found that drinking large quantities of caffeine can have a serious impact on changes for conception. Following almost 4000 IVF and ICSI patients, researchers from the Fertility Clinic of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark showed that drinking five or more cups of coffee a day reduced pregnancy rates by 50% and live birth rates by 40%.
As Dr Ulrik Schixler Kesmodel explained, “Although we were not surprised that coffee consumption appears to affect pregnancy rates in IVF, we were surprised at the magnitude of the effect.”
This large study included 3,959 women who were undergoing either IVF or ICSI treatments. They controlled for a number of variables including age, smoking habits and alcohol usage, infertility causes and more.
Interestingly, for those who drank less than five cups a day, no negative effect was found from the coffee consumption. Researchers went so far as to compare the adverse effect of the coffee consumption to the terrible effects of smoking.
Dr Kesmodel further explained the results as he said “There is limited evidence about coffee in the literature, so we would not wish to worry IVF patients unnecessarily. But it does seem reasonable, based on our results and the evidence we have about coffee consumption during pregnancy, that women should not drink more than five cups of coffee a day when having IVF.
He continued, “The fact that we found no harmful effects of coffee at lower levels of intake is well in line with previous studies on time-to-pregnancy and miscarriage, which also suggest that, if coffee does have a clinically relevant effect, it is likely to be upwards from a level of four-to-six cups a day.”
The results would be explained and presented at the annual meeting of ESHRE which is the world’s largest event in reproductive science and medicine taking place in Istanbul.