Something that I have found that can have a significant effect on your chances of falling pregnant, and that is quite often overlooked by people is their morning coffee routine.
A large study carried out by the Yale Medical School found that the risk of infertility was 55% higher for women drinking just 1 cup of coffee a day, 100% higher for women drinking 1.5-3 cups per day and 176% higher for more than 3 cups per day (1). This study was further backed up 5 years later by a study in Europe which found that high caffeine intake in women slowed rates of conception (2). The effect of caffeine on the fertility of men has not been examined so much but one study did find a delay in conception related to caffeine intake though the dose was not important (3).
Other studies have also shown that drinking coffee increases miscarriage rates and caffeine intake during pregnancy has a negative influence on fetal growth (4).
Most studies indicate that it is the consumption of 300 mg or more of caffeine daily that can lead to fertility problems. It is estimated that more than 20% of Australians and Americans drinks more than 350 mg per day.
If you are suffering from infertility problems then I would highly recommend that you reduce your intake significantly or switch to low caffeine varieties of tea or find an alternative.
One alternative that is worth giving a try is Dandelion coffee (also dandelion tea) which is a herbal tea often used as a coffee substitute, made from the root of the dandelion plant. The roasted dandelion root pieces and the beverage have some resemblance to coffee in both appearance and taste.
Added Benefits of Dandelion tea include: Dandelion coffee is said to be a good tonic for the liver (5). A bitter tonic made from the dandelion root is also used as a laxative (6), Dandelion tea is also currently being researched for cancer treatment (7).
1) Dulgosz L, Brachs M B 1992 Coffee reduces fertility. Epidemiologic Reviews 14:83
2) Bolumar F, Olsen J, Rebagliato M, Bisanti L 1997 Caffeine intake and delayed conception: a European multicenter study on infertility and subfecundity. European Study Group on Infertility and Subfecundity. American Journal of Epidemiology 145(4):324-334
3) Curtis K M, Savitz D A, Arbuckle T E 197 Effects of cigarette smoking, caffeine consumption and alcohol intake on fecundability. American Journal of Epidemiology 146(1):32-41
4) Infante-Rivard C, Fernandez A, Gauthier R. David M, Rivard G E 1993 Fetal loss associated wit caffeine intake before and during pregnancy. Jounral of American Medical Association 270(24):2940-2943
5) McElroy K 2008 Dandelion root “coffee” is a good liver tonic Avoid Christmas hangover 19 December 2008 The daily.com.au http://www.thedaily.com.au/news/2008/dec/19/avoid-christmas-hangover/
6) “Dandelion”. The Columbia Encyclopedia. Columbia University Press. July 2001. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
7) Jeflyn P 2012 “Dandelion tea touted as possible cancer killer” (CBC Feb 16, 2012 CBC NEWS http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/story/2012/02/16/wdr-dandelion-tea-cancer-killer.html