Caffeine's Effects on Sperm

Young man drinking a cup of coffee
Man drinking a cup of coffee (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The effect of caffeine on fertility has been debated through the decades. While the connection between heat and reduced sperm count seems clear, there is no similarly clear relationship for caffeine. Excessive caffeine intake, as part of a collection of other unhealthy exposures, has been associated with adverse effects on sperm. There is no consistent evidence, however, linking moderate consumption of caffeine to reduced sperm quantity, quality or motility.

Sperm Quantity

French Press Coffee Pour on a Cold Winter Morning.
Close-up of fresh brewed coffee being poured into mug (Image: RickSause/iStock/Getty Images)

When consumed in excessive amounts, it is possible that caffeine might adversely impact sperm production. A study in the April 2010 issue of "American Journal of Epidemiology" reported that the number and concentration of sperm were slightly reduced in a group of 2,554 young Danish men with a high intake of caffeinated cola -- more than 14 0.5-liter bottles per week. However, the high-caffeine men also tended to have more unhealthy habits, such as smoking, drinking alcohol and eating less nutritious food, so it is unclear whether the effects of sperm were due to caffeine or these habits. Other studies have found no relationship between sperm quantity and caffeine consumption.

Sperm Motility

Couple in consultation at IVF clinic
Couple consulting with a fertility doctor (Image: Cathy Yeulet/Hemera/Getty Images)

Sperm motility influences its ability to actively swim and propel itself through the female reproductive tract. When sperm is directly exposed to caffeine in a laboratory, sperm motility is increased. However, this stimulatory effect has not been found in any studies involving caffeine consumption in men. In a report by the Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility published in the September 2013 issue of "Fertility and Sterility," this committee of experts concluded that caffeine consumption in men has no effect on the concentration of motile sperm.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.