Miscarriage Risk Linked To Caffeine Intake Of Both The Parents – Father’s Consumption Of Caffeinated Drinks Matters Too

The risk of miscarriage has been linked to caffeine consumption of both the parents. Both members of the couple have been advised to avoid caffeinated drinks to boost the chances of getting pregnant and delivering a healthy baby. According to a new study, women who consumed more than two caffeinated drinks per day had a substantially higher risk of miscarriage. Surprisingly, even the male partner’s pre-conception caffeine consumption had a detrimental effect on pregnancy.

According to a new study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), couples who wish to get pregnant should religiously stay away from drinks that contain copious amounts of caffeine, notable examples being coke, coffee, and immensely popular energy drinks. While caffeine has been strongly linked to a greater risk of miscarriage before, the new study indicates even men’s caffeine consumption plays a significant role, shared Germaine Buck Louis, the director of Intramural Population Health Research at the National Institute of Child Health and Development and lead author of the study.

“Our findings indicate that the male partner matters, too. Male pre-conception consumption of caffeinated beverages was just as strongly associated with pregnancy loss as females’.”

Just how risky is caffeine consumption? For women, drinking more than two caffeinated drinks daily before getting pregnant was associated with a 74 percent higher risk of a miscarriage. The study authors further claimed that the degree of risk of miscarriage due to caffeine consumption was similar for both sexes. In other words, not just the mother, but the father’s consumption of caffeinated products had an equally strong detrimental effect on the conception and pregnancy. From a statistical perspective, among couples in which the male partner drank more than two caffeinated beverages daily before conception, there was a 73 percent higher risk of a miscarriage, revealed the study, reported Live Science.

The researchers analyzed data from the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) Study, which was established to examine the relationship between fertility, lifestyle, and exposure to environmental chemicals, reported You Don’t Know Football.

The study included more than 500 couples in Michigan and Texas. These heterosexual partners had deliberately stopped using any contraceptives that might have hindered with the conception. The couples confirmed they fully intended to get pregnant and wanted to go for a natural conception of their progeny.

The couples were asked to maintain daily journals and were instructed to fill the pages with the daily activities, including lifestyle behaviors and habits such as cigarette smoking, drinking alcohol, and caffeinated drinks. Couples, who successfully got pregnant within a year, were asked to continue participating in the study until they gave birth or experienced a miscarriage.

From the 501 couples who participated, 344 became pregnant, and from these, 98 experienced a miscarriage. Based on the statistical and behavioral analysis of the couples, there were a number of findings that surfaced.

As expected, women who were 35 years and older, were nearly twice as likely to suffer a miscarriage as compared to younger females. Moreover, the study also reiterated the importance of daily multivitamin supplements, both, before conception and during pregnancy. Women, who religiously took their multivitamins, were less likely to miscarry as compared to women who skipped their doses.

Interestingly, the study notes that it merely signaled a link between caffeine intake and miscarriage. The study cautions it wasn’t able to pinpoint whether caffeine consumption was directly correlated to miscarriage. In other words, the study did not prove cause and effect. While multiple other studies conducted earlier have reached similar conclusions, the exact mechanism how higher caffeine consumption leads to pregnancy loss still eludes the scientists.

Will drinking decaf help? The authors caution that decaffeinated drinks weren’t part of the study and hence their role in the pregnancy loss hasn’t been investigated.

The study essentially concludes that couples who wish to minimize the risk of miscarriage should limit caffeine intake to less than three beverages per day before conception and during pregnancy. And this rule of thumb is valid for the mother and the father.

[Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]