A new study has found that parents who indulge in caffeinated drinks such as coke, coffee, or energy drinks while they are trying to conceive boost their risk of losing pregnancy early on. And that goes for both moms and dads.
According to the findings, when either of parents or both consume three or more cups of beverages containing caffeine a day, the risk of losing pregnancy nearly doubles. Furthermore, if the pregnant mom drinks more caffeine after conception the risk is even higher.
Researchers noted that their study is one of the first to find a link between what men eat or drink and fertility. The team noted that male partners matter, too.
Though the newly-found association between caffeine consumption and risk of miscarriage may be disheartening, there is something women can do to prevent pregnancy loss.
The study found that future moms that took multivitamins before conceiving and the weeks after getting pregnant had a 50 percent lower risk of losing pregnancy.
The research was based on data from more than 340 couples who volunteer for the study as they were trying to conceive. Volunteers provided researchers with accurate data on their daily caffeine intake, fish intake, and substance abuse.
Male participants also agreed to give urine, blood, and semen samples, while females underwent several pregnancy tests. All the data was needed to help researchers understand which factors can negatively impact fertility.
So, they focused on mercury in fish, pesticides, and caffeine. About 28 percent of pregnancies monitored in the study were eventually lost. The study confirmed that women over the age of 35 have a twofold risk of pregnancy loss than their younger counterparts.
But moderate intake of caffeine before pregnancy boosted the risk of miscarriage by 74 percent, regardless of the moment of consumption (before or after conception). Dr. Germaine Buck Louis, lead author of the study, noted that male caffeine consumption before conceiving boosted the risk of pregnancy loss just as much as female consumption.
The research didn’t focus on each type of caffeinated beverages and their direct influence on pregnancy loss risk. The team assessed the risk in all types of caffeine-based drinks such as tea, sodas, energy drinks, and coffee.
Dr. Zev Williams of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, who was not involved in the research, noted that going cold turkey on caffeine may not be the best approach. He believes that one to two cups of caffeinated beverages per day can do no harm.
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