What You Need to Know About Tea and Your Fertility

What You Need to Know About Tea and Your Fertility

Tea has a long, storied history. It has been used medicinally, as a part of ceremonies, and as a simple way to slow down and enjoy the day. As the second most consumed beverage in the world, there’ s a pretty good chance a cuppa regularly graces your lips.

If you’re trying to conceive, you’ve no doubt heard conflicting information about whether or not you should continue sipping tea. Some say tea should be avoided altogether, others say it can actually play a key role in boosting your fertility. Who’s right?

Once and for all, I hope to answer the oft asked question, “does tea help or harm my fertility?” Read on for the information you need to know about tea and your fertility.

What is tea?

Typically when we refer to tea, we’re talking about any beverage made by infusing water with any number of leaves, flowers, stems, seeds, or roots. But technically, only Camellia sinensis and beverages made from its leaves are true teas. All other botanical infusions are just that, infusions or if you’re feeling especially fancy, tisanes.

What does the research say about tea and conception?

Not surprisingly, the research literature is full of conflicting information.

A 2012 prospective study of over 3600 women not taking any fertility drugs or birth control found time to pregnancy was shorter for the women who drank two or more cups of tea a day, while soda increased the time it took for women to become pregnant. There’s a chance there were other lifestyle habits the tea drinkers had that improved their fertility[1].

In 1998 researchers set out to determine how different caffeine containing drinks affect women’s fertility. They found women who reported drinking at least 1/2 cup of tea a day were more likely to become pregnant than other women in the cohort[2].

One study found coffee and tea (the study results clumped coffee and tea together) only negatively affected fertility rates of women who were also smokers [3].

Conversely, a 2015 study of women undergoing fertility treatment found women who drank tea had a lower of conceiving compared to women who didn’t. However, the information about the study subjects diet was collected prior to the initiation of fertility treatments. There’s no way of knowing whether the study participant started or stopped drinking tea during treatment[4].

Another study, published in 2004, suggested tea can negatively impact how long it takes to get pregnant, but only when cups of tea exceeded 6 cups per day. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to really determine tea’s true effect of tea on fertility since coffee and tea were lumped together, once again, in the analysis[5].

Overall the data suggests tea, in moderate amounts doesn’t lower fertility (and may even positively influence it.) Stick with less than 300 mg of caffeine, about … cups of black tea, … cups of white tea, and … cups of green tea.

Fertility and Health Benefits of Tea

Antioxidants

Stress Reduction

Balance Blood Sugar

Improve Fertility

Which teas and tisanes should I avoid if I’m trying to conceive?

Too much tea…

Hibiscus…

Medicinal herbs if not under the advisement of a healthcare practitioner

How to Sip Tea Safely While Trying to Conceive-Tea takeaways- sipping to boost your wellness and reproductive health

Tea, the right kind, in the right amounts,  can be a valuable ally in your journey to conception.

References

  1. Hatch, E. E., Wise, L. A., Mikkelsen, E. M., Christensen, T., Riis, A. H., Sørensen, H. T., & Rothman, K. J. (2012). Caffeinated Beverage and Soda Consumption and Time to Pregnancy. *Epidemiology,*23(3), 393-401.

  2. Caan, B., Quesenberry, C. P., & Coates, A. O. (1998). Differences in fertility associated with caffeinated beverage consumption. *American Journal of Public Health,*88(2), 270-274. doi:10.2105/ajph.88.2.270

  3. Olsen, J. (1991). Cigarette Smoking, Tea and Coffee Drinking, and Subfecundity. American Journal of Epidemiology,133(7), 734-739.

  4. Gormack, A. A., Peek, J. C., Derraik, J. G., Gluckman, P. D., Young, N. L., & Cutfield, W. S. (2015). Many women undergoing fertility treatment make poor lifestyle choices that may affect treatment outcome. *Human Reproduction,*30(7), 1617-1624.

  5. Hassan, M. A., & Killick, S. R. (2004). Negative lifestyle is associated with a significant reduction in fecundity. *Fertility and Sterility,*81(2), 384-392.

Kendra Tolbert

I'm a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified aromatherapist, and certified lactation counselor from San Diego, CA. I currently live in Alexandria, VA.

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