Caffeine intake and fertility

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Studies assessing the impact of caffeine on fertility have evaluated a variety of outcomes including time to pregnancy, infertility and semen quality.

Incorrect, or imprecise, assessments of the duration of exposure are a primary concern for the few recent studies addressing time to conception and ovulatory infertility. Potential recall bias and exposure misclassification may explain the modest association reported for coffee and tea consumption and increased time to pregnancy.

No support for an association with infertility due to ovulation disorders was provided, but exposure measurement error was likely introduced as a result of the timing of exposure assessments.

Evaluations of semen quality have consistently failed to observe adverse effects associated with caffeine intake1, as confirmed by a Danish study3.

A further Danish prospective study evaluated the relation of caffeine, coffee, tea and sodas with time to pregnancy in a cohort of 3628 women planning a pregnancy. There was little relation between fecundability and caffeine intake of 300+ mg/day compared with <100 mg/day or coffee intake of 3+ servings a day compared with none4.

According to an Australian review paper, at this point in time, the evidence from the literature is unclear and insufficient to provide coffee consumption guidelines for preconception advice5.

In summary, consistent relationships between caffeine intake and measures of sub-fecundity have not been observed.

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