Stop getting coffee if you want to get pregnant

  • By Team TDO

It’s black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel and sweet as love. Coffee, a drink no more limited to cafés, has entered the lifestyles of urban households in India. We relish having coffee in the morning. When we feel tired, we reach for a coffee. If we have to work for long hours, once again, we grab a coffee. But if you are trying to get pregnant, you may need to dial down the daily intake of this favorite beverage of yours.

According to one study, consuming about 3-4 cups of coffee in a day on an average, may adversely affect a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. However, studies have also displayed widely varying conclusions – some claim that higher caffeine consumption can delay the chance of conceiving, while, others maintain that it has little effect on the outcome.

One study has even indicated that a moderate caffeine intake of 150-300 mg (approximately one to two cups of strong coffee per day) is an established risk factor for human fertility. They noted that women who drank more than one strong cup of coffee per day, were half as likely to conceive in any given menstrual cycle, compared to those who drank less than one cup per day.The study also noted that those who consumed 2.5 cups per day, were 4.7 times less likely to conceive.

So, exactly how much caffeine is too much?

The less caffeine you consume, the better. Some experts say, more than 150mg of caffeine a day is too much, while others say more than 300mg a day is too much. Avoiding caffeine as much as possible is your safest course of action. If you must get your fix, then it is best to discuss this with your health practitioner, in order to make the healthiest choice for you and your baby.

Do keep in mind that, caffeine is found in more than just coffee or other drinks. It is also found in some over-the-counter medications that relieve headaches. So, those of you who want to get pregnant, must therefore, be cautious of what you consume.

Caffeine count
According to the Australia New Zealand Food Authority’s report on safety aspects of dietary caffeine (2000), the below foods contained the following amounts of caffeine:

  1. Instant coffee (1 teaspoon/cup): 60-80 mg/250 mL cup
  2. Percolated coffee: 60-120 mg/250mL cup
  3. Tea: 10-50 mg/250 mL cup
  4. Coca Cola: 36 mg/375 mL can
  5. Milk chocolate: 20 mg/100g bar
  6. Energy Drinks (e.g. Red Bull): 80 mg/250 mL can