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Does Green Tea Increase Your Chances of Getting Pregnant?

by
author image Sharon Perkins
A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients.
Does Green Tea Increase Your Chances of Getting Pregnant?
Green tea may contain ingredients that help some women get pregnant. Photo Credit Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

Few things in life are more frustrating than not getting pregnant when you want to have a baby. Green tea, a drink high in antioxidants, may increase your chance of pregnancy when taken in conjunction with other ingredients, but there is no clinical proof that green tea alone has any fertility benefits. Green tea may also reduce your levels of folate, called folic acid in its synthetic form, an essential vitamin for proper fetal development. Talk with your doctor to find out if green tea is safe for you.

Potential Benefits

Green tea has the highest amount of a chemical called polyphenols of any type of tea. The antioxidant benefits of polyphenols enables it to scavenge and destroy free radicals, which are molecules that can cause damage to the DNA in your cells. Free radicals may contribute to the development of diseases such as cancer and heart disease. In addition to antioxidant benefits, green tea may also reduce inflammation. Other potential benefits of green tea are increased egg viability and decreased cellular damage to reproductive organs, according to the What to Expect -- when you're pregnant -- website.

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Potential Risks

On the downside, green tea contains caffeine, although black tea has two to three times more caffeine than green. Both caffeine and the tannic acid found in tea could decrease your chances of getting pregnant, They might also increase your risk of miscarriage if you consume them in large amounts, reports reproductive endocrinologist Helen Kim on the Baby Center website. Keep caffeine consumption below 300 mg per day, she suggests.

Positive Studies

The University of Stanford has conducted several studies on the potential benefits of what they call "FertilityBlend," a mixture of green tea, the herb chasteberry, vitamins and minerals, and the amino acid L-arginine. The participants in the first study were 30 women aged 24 to 36 who had been unsuccessful in getting pregnant for 6 to 36 months. At the end of 5 months, 33 percent of the group taking FertilityBlend got pregnant; none of the women taking a placebo got pregnant during this time. A follow-up study tested 96 women by giving half of them the same mixture for 3 months. At the end of 6 months, 32 percent of the FertilityBlend group got pregnant compared to 10 percent of the placebo group.

Negative Studies

Green tea may have a negative effect on folate, or folic acid, levels. While folate doesn't impact getting pregnancy, a deficiency can cause serious neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida. A Japanese study of pregnant women reported in the October 2010 issue of "Bioscience Trends" found that women who drank the most green tea had the lowest folate levels.

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References

Demand Media