January 4, 2018
by
in Fertility

The Effects of Alcohol and Caffeine on Fertility

Alcohol and Caffeine have long been debated over regarding their place in the body of a pregnant woman.  But there is also a lot of discussion around whether or not these ingredients affect fertility, too.  We thought we would bring you the low-down on what to watch for with alcohol and caffeine when trying to conceive a baby.

Alcohol

While it is common for men and women to consume a glass of wine or beer with dinner each day, the more excessive consumption of alcohol can have negative repercussions for your baby-making process.  Firstly, alcohol can have a disruptive impact on the menstrual cycle, making them irregular or occur without ovulation.  Secondly, excessive use of alcohol over time can contribute to a thinned uterus lining, which is where the fertilised eggs implants to grow.  If this lining is too thin, the egg cannot take hold.  Thirdly, alcohol has been proven to impact the hormones of the female body, specifically estrogen and progesterone.  These two hormones are crucial for egg development and menstrual cycles, and when they are thrown off balance it can be difficult to become pregnant.

Alcohol can have a damaging impact on the sperm, too.  Men have estrogen, too, and when these levels get too high, the development of sperm can be interfered with.  The toxic ingredients found in alcohol have also been proven to encumber the sperm-generating cells within the testicles, as well as change the size and shape of the testicles themselves, which hinder fertility.  Additionally, significant consumption of alcohol, even over time, has been linked to slow moving, damaged or unhealthy sperm or reduced sperm numbers.  Men may also find it hard to gain and maintain an erection (very important for baby making!) when there is too much alcohol in their system.

So if you and your partner are trying to conceive, it is best to cut back on the alcohol consumption to ensure your best chances of getting pregnant.

Caffeine

It is important to remember that caffeine is not just in coffee – it is in tea, chocolate and energy drinks. There are many studies currently in place around the effect of caffeine on fertility, and there are many conflicting pieces of evidence. However, for the optimum health of you and your impending baby, we will take a quick look at the impact of consuming caffeine while trying to get pregnant.

For women, caffeine can impact the developing egg, resulting in it being less than optimal for fertilisation. Additionally, it has also been linked to disrupting the rhythmic pulses of the fallopian tubes.  These rhythmic pulses, when working correctly, help to carry the egg towards the uterus for implantation (if fertilised). An excessive amount of caffeine can also impact the hormone levels in the body, interrupting the menstrual cycle and development of eggs.

For men, the studies of caffeine have favoured on the side of beneficial for fertility!  While not conclusive some research has identified that caffeine may, in fact, improve the speed and movement of sperm, which is great for baby-making!  It can, however, also impact on the hormone levels (like in women), interrupting the development of sperm.  There is not enough evidence, however, to conclusively say that men should stop drinking caffeine while trying to get their partner pregnant.

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Hi, I’m Chef Jaime

The head Chef and founder of ChefDine.

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