Caffeine intake associated with miscarriage

Emobileclinic Reseacher’s corner

Emobileclinic Reporter: Femi Fayomi

The consumption of caffeinated drinks daily in the weeks leading up to conception has been associated with the loss of pregnancy among couples in a recent study published on Fertility and Sterility journal. The study aimed at estimating pregnancy loss incidence in a contemporary cohort of couples whose lifestyles were measured during sensitive windows of reproduction to identify factors associated with pregnancy loss for the continual refinement of preconception guidance.


The risk of miscarriage also may increase if the mother-to-be drinks more than two caffeinated beverages daily during the first seven weeks of pregnancy according to the study.

Previous study had linked caffeine to greater risk of miscarriage, but what is new in this study is that men’s caffeine consumption also appears to play a role, said Janis Biermann, senior vice president for education and health promotion at the March of Dimes. Biermann was not involved with the study.

He notes that “behaviors before pregnancy can impact pregnancy; when you are planning a pregnancy, it is a good time to get your body ready, reduce your consumption of caffeine, get to a healthy weight, don’t drink alcohol and see your doctor for a checkup.”

The new research also found that women who took a daily multivitamin before conception and through early pregnancy were less likely to miscarry than women who did not.

A standard cup of coffee is about 8 ounces. The March of Dimes recommends women limit themselves to only 12 ounces of coffee a day, Biermann said. “But caffeine is not only found in coffee,” she added. It’s in tea, colas, chocolate and energy drinks.

The reason caffeine is linked to miscarriage is not yet known, Sapra said. Caffeine may turn off certain genes in the sperm or egg, but that’s only speculation. It’s possible that caffeine is associated with other factors that were not uncovered in this study, she added.

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The researchers used data from a study conducted in Texas and Michigan between 2005 and 2009. The study examined the relationship between fertility, lifestyle and exposure to environmental chemicals of 344 pregnancies, 28 percent ended in miscarriage, according to the report. The older women of 35years and above have higher risk for miscarriage which was as a result of sperm and egg age. Couples who consumed more than two caffeinated drinks a day was associated with about a 74 percent greater risk of miscarriage according to Sapra.

The study concludes that couple should reduce the intake of caffeinated and alcoholic drinks during these two sensitive windows: preconception and early pregnancy. It must be emphasized that couples’ preconception lifestyle factors were associated with pregnancy loss, although women’s multivitamin adherence dramatically reduced risk. The findings support continual refinement and implementation of preconception guidance.


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  • Katherine Sapra, M.Phil., M.P.H., postdoctoral fellow, U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development;
  • Janis Biermann, M.S., senior vice president for education and health promotion, March of Dimes, White Plains, N.Y.; March 24, 2016, Fertility and Sterility, online 

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