The polyphenols (EGCG) found in green tea are known to help prevent cellular damage to female reproductive organs. Does that mean that green tea and fertility go hand-in-hand? Not that I can see.
While the substances found in green tea have a long list of health benefits, there has not been any research showing that it helps with getting pregnant.
Scientists have discovered that the EGCG found in green tea can act as antioxidants that may protect cells in a woman’s body from damage that could lead to endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a condition that happens when cells from the lining of the uterus grow in other areas of the body. This can lead to problems getting pregnant, or infertility.
A study done in 2008 found that EGCG may reduce, and possibly prevent, the growth of these stray uterus cells. They checked to see if it could be used as an effective treatment for endometriosis. Their findings showed that polyphenols may be used as a therapeutic agent in the treatment and prevention of new endometriotic lesions.
So drinking green tea is more like preventative maintenance rather than a fertility fix.
Fertility Festival in Japan
If you are currently trying to conceive, then you may have been told to avoid caffeine altogether.
A study that was published in 1988 states that caffeine may be linked to fertility problems. In this study, the researchers reported that drinking just 1 cup of coffee per day reduced the likelihood of pregnancy by 50 percent.
Ten years later a study from The American Journal of Public Health suggested that there was no relationship at all between caffeine consumption and fertility. They actually found that drinking half a cup of tea or more daily nearly doubled the odds of conception.
At a university in Denmark, some researchers turned the tables and decided to check the link between caffeine intake and fertility among men. They found that men that consumed more than 7 liters of cola or 800 milligrams of caffeine per day had lower sperm counts.
However, they also suggested that this low count could be a consequence of the lifestyle choices made by these men, rather than caffeine.
One thing you have to keep in mind is that these studies don’t prove anything. They just find little pieces of the larger puzzle. Things such as diet, age and genetics could also be factors when trying to have a baby.
If you are trying to get pregnant and love a nice hot cup of coffee, green tea could be a great substitute. One cup of green tea has far less caffeine than coffee or black tea.
In the end, your doctor knows best. If you are having trouble conceiving, then your best bet may be to see a fertility specialist.
Caan, B., Quesenberry Jr., C. P., & Coates, A. O. (1998). Differences in fertility associated with caffeinated beverage consumption. American Journal Of Public Health, 88(2), 270-274.
Conference Abstracts… November 10, 2008. (2008). Fertility Weekly, 11-17.
Jensen, T., Swan, S., Skakkebaek, N., Rasmussen, S., & Jørgensen, N. (2010). Caffeine intake and semen quality in a population of 2,554 young Danish men. American Journal Of Epidemiology, 171(8), 883-891.
Matthias W., L., Christine, S., Claudia, S., Brigitte, V., & Michael D., M. (2008). Epigallocatechin-3-gallate inhibits estrogen-induced activation of endometrial cells in vitro and causes regression of endometriotic lesions in vivo. Human Reproduction, 23(10), 2308.
News you can use. (2009). Alternative & Complementary Therapies, 15(4), 161-165.
Wilcox A, Weinberg C, Baird D. Caffeinated beverages and decreased fertility. Lancet. 1988; 333:1453-1455.