Is coffee good for your fertility?

Is coffee good for your fertility?

October 22, 2020

 

Coffee. The most famous beverage we start our day with; we drink it when an energy refill is needed or just for its delicious taste. It is especially known for its high caffeine content. Caffeine is found in coffee, cocoa, tea and soft beverages (mainly cola-containing beverages and energy drinks). It takes 15-
45 minutes for us to get our energy boost from a cup of coffee or other caffeine drink, as that is how long it takes for it to get into our blood system.[1]  

 

Coffee and other caffeine-based beverages are highly popular, but have you ever thought about what drinking a few cups of coffee can do to your sperm? 

 

Caffeine has several effects on the human body, such as the central nervous system stimulation, relaxation of smooth muscles and stimulation of the heart rate.  It is as well known to have both positive and negative effects on health.[2] A moderate intake may have a small protective effect against some cardiovascular system diseases, diabetes and liver disease, among others.[3] The risk of negative effects is connected with a high consumption of energy drinks, which is popular among a younger audience.[4] 

 

Approximately, 13% of couples in the reproductive age worldwide have trouble conceiving. 30% of these causes is because of the male factor.[5]

A large study with almost 30.000 participants did not find any major effects on sperm quality from consuming coffee.[6] Another study conducted on young Danish men also did not find any connection between caffeine (≤800 mg/day) or cola (≤1 L/day) consumption and sperm quality reduction. 

Can it be that caffeine does not have any impact on male fertility at all?

 

Well, one study found a minor increase in semen volume in nearly 76% of caffeine consumers and higher sperm motility in fertile vasectomy patients who drank 6 or more cups of coffee a day.[7] So that is something!

 

However, a systematic review of relevant studies, involving almost 20.000 men, discovered that semen parameters were influenced by cola-containing beverages and soft drinks containing caffeine. It had a negative effect on mens’ sperm volume, count and concentration. There was not found any negative effects on caffeine consumption from coffee, tea, and cocoa beverages.[8]

 

The way caffeine may harm male fertility is by causing damage to the sperm DNA. A meta-analysis on how coffee and caffeine intake influences male infertility discovered that independent of age, healthy non-smoking men whose daily coffee intake amounted to more than 308 mg (2.9cups) have shown increased sperm DNA damage, thus prolonged time to pregnancy. [9]

However, another study on caffeine intake and sperm parameters[10] discovered that caffeine consumption relates to a lower risk of elevated DNA fragmentation.

 

To conclude those very different findings from various studies, we can only recommend to “keep it low” with the caffeine. Try to avoid energy and soft drinks containing caffeine, as those types of beverages also often contain sweeteners, artificial flavors and other ingredients. Og course, it also depends on what your current health stage is, but we believe that keeping it moderate with 1-2 cups of coffee or tea a day will not have any major impact on your fertility.

 

If you are concerned if consuming caffeine may have an impact on your fertility, we recommend that you contact your doctor.  

 

[1] Sepkowitz KA. Energy drinks and caffeine-related adverse effects. JAMA. 2013;309:243–244. doi: 10.1001/jama.2012.173526. [PubMed] [CrossRef[Google Scholar]

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5482951/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5482951/

[4] Reissig CJ, Strain EC, Griffiths RR. Caffeinated energy drinks—a growing problem. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2009;99:1–10. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2008.08.001. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef[Google Scholar]

[5] Nyboe Andersen A, Carlsen E, Loft A. Trends in the use of intracytoplasmatic sperm injection marked variability between countries. Hum Reprod Update. 2008;14:593–604. doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmn032. [PubMed] [CrossRef[Google Scholar]

[6] Li Y., Lin H., Li Y., Cao J. Association between socio-psycho-behavioral factors and male semen quality: systematic review and meta-analyses. Fertil Steril. 2011;95:116–123. [PubMed] [Google Scholar] 

[7] Sobreiro B.P., Lucon A.M., Pasqualotto F.F., Hallak J., Athayde K.S., Arap S. Semen analysis in fertile patients undergoing vasectomy: reference values and variations according to age, length of sexual abstinence, seasonality, smoking habits and caffeine intake. Sao Paulo Med J. 2005;123:161–166. [PubMed[Google Scholar]

[8] Ricci E., Vigano P., Cipriani S., Somigliana E., Chiaffarino F., Bulfoni A. Coffee and caffeine intake and male infertility: a systematic review. Nutr J. 2017;16:37. [PMC free article] [PubMed[Google Scholar] [Ref list]

[9]  Ricci E., Vigano P., Cipriani S., Somigliana E., Chiaffarino F., Bulfoni A. Coffee and caffeine intake and male infertility: a systematic review. Nutr J. 2017;16:37. [PMC free article] [PubMed[Google Scholar] [Ref list]

[10] Belloc S., Cohen-Bacrie M., Dalleac A., Amar E., Hazout A., de Mouzon J. Caffeine intake and sperm parameters. Analysis of a cohort of 4474 consecutive semen samples. Fertil Steril. 2013;100(Suppl.):S212. [Google Scholar] [Ref list]



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