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Caffeine and fertility

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 21-01-2008

An article in the New York Times today suggests a link between miscarriages and consumption of more than 200mg. of caffeine (2 cups of coffee or five cans of soda) per day for pregnant women.

I’m a skeptic when it comes to coffee fears since they have always proven to be unfounded. However, this study, just published in the American Jouranl of Obstetrics and Gynecology says that caffeine doubles miscarriage risk.

Li said many researchers think caffeine is harmful because it stresses the fetus’ immature metabolism. It may also decrease blood flow in the placenta, which could harm the fetus.

“To me, the safe dose is zero,” Li said. “If you really have to drink coffee, try to limit it to one cup or at the most two cups.” Or better yet, switch to decaffeinated beverages, he added.

Based on the findings, Dr. Tracy Flanagan, director of women’s health at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, said pregnant women should think about limiting coffee to one cup a day, and they might want to cut it out entirely.

“So many causes of miscarriage are not controllable,” she said in a telephone interview. “This is an opportunity to do something active.”