New study: Caffeine might reduce fertility in women

If you’re trying to become pregnant, and it isn’t happening as quickly as you’d like, it may be time to cut down on the coffee, tea, and soda.

A new study released today in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that there could be a link between heavy caffeine consumption and infertility in women. 

Scientists know little about how microscopically small eggs move through the Fallopian tubes.

It was generally assumed that tiny hair-like projections, called cilia, in the lining of the tubes, push eggs along the tube,  assisted by muscle contractions in the tube walls.

But by studying tubes from mice, researchers found that caffeine stops the actions of specialized pacemaker cells in the wall of the tubes.

If these cells cannot do their job, then the eggs can’t move down the tubes.

“This 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 Sean Ward, a professor from the University of Nevada School of Medicine, who headed up the study.

A better understanding of the way Fallopian tubes work will help doctors treat pelvic inflammation and sexually-transmitted disease more successfully as well, said Ward, who hopes that the study could help doctors to also understand the causes of ectopic pregnancy.

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