New research suggests caffeine can help boost male fertility

There’s potentially some good news for coffee aficionados. Previously, couples trying for a baby have been warned to steer clear of caffeine, but a new study, reported in the Telegraph, suggests that drinking two cups of coffee a day may actually help boost the chances of conceiving.

The US study, carried out by the US National Institutes of Health, suggested that drinking coffee could double the chances of pregnancy. The results only applied to male partners, and were in contrast to previous research which suggested cutting down caffeine to boost fertility.

Does caffeine affect fertility?

There’s some evidence to support the findings, as caffeine prevents two chemicals found naturally in the body (adenosine triphosphate and guanosine triphosphate) from breaking down, so that more energy is available to cells and sperm motility is increased.

Some UK experts have found the results ‘surprising’, but say that the study shows the importance of diet for couples who are trying to have a baby. While excessive alcohol and smoking both remain firmly on the ‘banned’ list, Professor Charles Kingsland, founder of the UK’s largest NHS IVF unit, says that the research regarding caffeine is ‘more contentious’, and that more study is needed before official advice changes.

Experts still advise that the largest factor in boosting fertility is lifestyle, advocating following a healthy diet, taking plenty of exercise, avoiding smoking and not drinking to excess and maintaining a healthy body weight. The official view from the NHS is that ‘there’s no clear evidence of a link between caffeine, which is found in drinks such as coffee, tea and cola, and fertility problems.’ So far, the findings from the US study look interesting and could prove beneficial for couples world-wide.

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