Study: Coffee intake before conception linked to miscarriage

A new study links caffeine—for both women AND their male partners—with an increased risk of early pregnancy loss.
woman laughing drinking coffee

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Here’s some news for those who believe all men have to do to conceive a baby is show up. A recent study suggests male partners might want to curb their espresso habit. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health and Ohio State University, Columbus, have linked caffeine consumption—which they defined as more than two caffeinated beverages daily—by both men and women in the weeks leading up to conception to an increased risk for miscarriage. Simlarly, women who had more than two caffeinated drinks during the first seven weeks of pregnancy were also more likely to miscarry.

However, women who took a daily multivitamin before conception and through early pregnancy were less likely to miscarry than women who didn’t.

The study doesn’t prove cause and effect—that two caffeinated drinks a day will lead to miscarriage—but rather estimates the risk of miscarriage during the study time frame. Researchers compared lifestyle factors including cigarette use, caffeinated beverage consumption and multivitamin use among 344 couples with a single pregnancy from the weeks before they conceived through the seventh week of pregnancy.

“Our findings indicate that the male partner matters, too,” said one of the study’s authors, Germaine Buck Louis, the director of the Division of Intramural Population Health Research at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. “Male preconception consumption of caffeinated beverages was just as strongly associated with pregnancy loss as females’.”

Read more:
Get your fix: 6 caffeine alternatives
Pregnancy food guide: Truth about what you can eat
The pregnancy diet: 5 must-have foods

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