If you’re trying for a baby then say goodbye to your lunchtime latte as scientists discover caffeine impairs the transport of eggs from the ovaries to the womb
Previous studies have suggested that coffee affects female fertility, but scientists now believe they have discovered the reason why four or more cups of coffee a day make it harder for women to conceive.
Research involving 9,000 women found that drinking high levels of caffeine decreases the chances of conceiving by 25 per cent due to it inhibiting contractions in the fallopian tubes which aid transport of eggs to the womb.
‘This finding provides an intriguing explanation as to why women with high caffeine consumption often take longer to conceive than women who do not consume caffeine,’ says study leader Prof Sean Ward, from the University of Nevada, Reno.
The stimulant de-activates specialised pacemaker cells in the walls of the fallopian tubes, which normally co-ordinate waves of tube contractions moving the eggs towards the womb.
The research, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, shows that the muscle contractions play a bigger part than the beating cilia in moving the eggs towards the womb.
‘This finding goes a long way towards explaining why drinking caffeinated drinks can reduce a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant,’ continues Professor Ward.
The researchers hope the findings will help doctors treat pelvic inflammation and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as providing insight into the potentially life-threatening occurrence of ectopic pregnancies.