Caffeine & Male Fertility

by Maggie McCormick
Your partner's morning coffee could be affecting his fertility.

Your partner's morning coffee could be affecting his fertility.

MayoClinic.com estimates that about 20 percent of infertility cases are a result of the male partner, while an additional 30 to 40 are a combination of male and female fertility issues. If you are having problems conceiving, you need to take a look at the types of things that may be causing it. Caffeine may be one of the culprits.

Significance

You need to determine the real reason that your partner is having problems with fertility. For example, he may not be producing enough sperm to give you a good chance of getting pregnant, or he may be producing sperm that are malformed or too slow. This may be due to infections, the position of his testicles and, sometimes, the amount of toxins in his body. Caffeine can negatively affect sperm mobility, although it isn't always the main source of the problem.

Misconceptions

Caffeine speeds you up, so it would seem natural to think that drinking a bit of coffee before doing the baby dance might increase the speed of your partner's sperm. This is true in lab tests--where the sperm is outside the body and scientists apply caffeine directly to the sperm. In reality, however, Dr. Randy Morris reports that a Danish study about the effect of caffeine on fertility showed that drinking caffeine can decrease a man's chances of producing a pregnancy.

Effects

In clinical trials, the sperm experience an initial burst of energy, but this effect quickly wears off, making the sperm move more slowly than they would after the same amount of time from a man who doesn't drink caffeine.

Considerations

It's unlikely that caffeine intake is the sole reason for your fertility issues. The negative effects of caffeine occur when the person takes excessive amounts. A few cups of coffee in the morning shouldn't make a significant difference.

Solutions

If your partner drinks nothing but beverages that include caffeine, you can encourage him to switch to non-caffeinated versions. However, you should also pay a visit to the doctor to determine the true cause of infertility. It may be something that's unrelated to caffeine intake.

About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

Photo Credits

  • coffee in coffee image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com