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Caffeine and Reduced Fertility: No More Coffee for Me

Goodbye, my friend...

For months I’ve been planning to eliminate caffeine from my diet, in hopes that it would help us to conceive.

And each month, I procrastinate.

Each day, as I sip my morning coffee (read: all-day-long coffee), I tell myself that surely it’s just a myth that caffeine interferes with conception.

Then, this morning, midway through my second cup of coffee, I stumbled across this bit of unsettling news:

“Caffeine reduces muscle activity in the Fallopian tubes that carry eggs from a woman’s ovaries to her womb.”

I nearly choked on my coffee.

The British Journal of Pharmacology just today published this study, conducted by Professor Sean Ward from the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno.

Professor Ward explains: “Our experiments were conducted in mice, but this finding goes a long way towards explaining why drinking caffeinated drinks can reduce a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant.”

Hmm…my coffee didn’t look so great anymore.

The human egg is microscopically tiny and must travel to the womb if a woman hopes to have a healthy pregnancy. Until this study, it was assumed that cilia, tiny hair-like projections in the lining of the tubes, pull the egg along with muscle contractions in the wall of the fallopian tube.

Professor Ward found that caffeine stops the actions of specialized pacemaker cells in the wall of the Fallopian tubes that coordinate tube contractions. Caffeine inhibits this process so eggs can’t properly move down the tubes.

Professor Ward is optimistic that the link that he discovered between caffeine consumption and reduced fertility will also help us to understand what causes ectopic pregnancies.

So, off I go to dump out the rest of my coffee.

Though the March of Dimes says that it’s safe to drink up to 12 ounces of coffee each day while trying to conceive, I’m not going to take any chances since I have a history of fertility struggles.

Tomorrow, you can safely expect me to be writing (read: complaining) about caffeine withdrawal.

This is going to hurt.

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