Effects of caffeine consumption on delayed conception

Cynthia K. Stanton, Ronald H. Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The authors examined the effects of caffeine consumption on waiting time to conception in the Reproductive Health Study, a retrospective study of 1,430 non-contracepting, parous women interviewed between July 1989 and June 1990 at Fishkill, New York, and Burlington, Vermont. Information was obtained on 2,501 pregnancies since 1980. Women's reported consumption of caffeinated beverages during the first month of pregnancy was used to estimate daily caffeine intake, which was categorized as none, 1-150, 151-300, and ≥301 mg. Information on delayed conception was analyzed as a dichotomous variable (≤12 months delay vs. >12 months delay), and the per cycle probability of conception (fecundability) was estimated using waiting time to conception as a continuous variable. Odds ratios of delayed conception and fecundability ratios adjusted for age, parity, smoking, last contraceptive used, infertility history, and race, were estimated by logistic regression and Cox proportional hazard models, respectively. Women who did not smoke and who consumed no caffeine were used as a reference group. The adjusted odds ratio of delayed conception for more than one year was not increased among women who consumed ≤300 mg of caffeine daily. However, the odds ratio (OR) was 2.65 (95% confidence interval (Cl) 1.38-5.07) among nonsmokers who consumed ≥301 mg of caffeine daily. Although smoking per se was associated with a significant increased risk of delayed conception (OR = 1.77, 95% Cl 1.33-2.37), no effect of high caffeine consumption was observed among women who smoked. Fecundability was reduced among nonsmokers who consumed more than 300 mg caffeine daily (fecundability ratio = 0.74, 95% Cl 0.59-0.92). Smoking reduced the fecundability ratio, but the authors observed no effect of caffeine consumption on fecundability among women who smoked. Other studies provide biologic plausibility for these findings. The authorsconclude that high levels of caffeine consumption may result in delayed conception among women who do not smoke cigarettes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1322-1329
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 1995


  • Caffeine
  • Fertility
  • Fertility, delayed
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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