Can Coffee Affect Conception?

RENO, NV - New research out of the University of Nevada School of Medicine may just have you putting that coffee cup down if getting pregnant is on the agenda.

Tammy Krikorian is a social media specialist with R&R Advertising. She's also eight months pregnant with her first child.

Another first, quitting coffee before she and her husband ever conceived.

“My co-workers go on a Starbuck's runs in the afternoon and it sounds great but, its my first pregnancy,” says Tammy

Some people like Tammy like the taste of coffee.

Others like what the caffeine does for them, increases their heart rate, and continues to make them feel energized. But researchers up at the University of Nevada School of Medicine say it might have a detrimental affect if you're trying to get pregnant.

Dr. Sean Ward has been studying pace maker cells.

Cells that work rhythmically in the body-- think of your heart or intestines.

In this case, he's been looking at those cells in the fallopian tubes of mice.

“We came to the conclusion that actually it was contractions of the muscle wall that was the important player,” says Dr. Ward.

An egg is fertilized after it leaves the ovaries and moves its way down the fallopian tube.

Dr. Ward says conventional wisdom was cilia--helped move the fertilized egg along so it could implant into the uterus.

That was until his research showed the pace maker cells actually did that work. Then Dr. Ward says he introduced caffeine into the process.

“Just stops, stops the activity,” says Dr. Ward

That's at least what happened in mice, which meant the fertilized egg couldn't progress further down to the uterus. More research must be done of course--including using human tissue.

Dr. Ward says the effects of the caffeine were not permanent, what's more important he says is the concentration.

The difference between taking a caffeine shot, or ordering a latte.

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