(CN) – A new study found that couples who drink caffeine before they conceive a baby are more likely to suffer a miscarriage than those who do not.
In addition, women who take multivitamins before and after conception can reduce the risk of miscarriage, according to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) report published Thursday.
“Our findings provide useful information for couples who are planning a pregnancy and who would like to minimize their risk for early pregnancy loss,” said Germaine Buck Louis, the study’s lead author.
Researchers from NIH and the Ohio State University found that, when a woman and her partner drink more than two caffeinated beverages per day leading up to conception, the risk of miscarriage increases.
Women who consume more than two caffeinated drinks per day themselves also increase the risk of miscarriage, the study found.
The researchers looked at data from 344 pregnancies recorded in the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) Study, which includes couples from Michigan and Texas from 2005 to 2009.
The risk of pregnancy loss was measured with a standard score of 1, so a number greater than 1 would show an increased risk.
For example, couples that were 35 years old or older had a score of 1.96, so they were almost twice as likely as younger couples to suffer a miscarriage.
Women who drank caffeine before conception had a score of 1.74, and men who drank caffeine scored nearly the exact same.
“Our findings also indicate that the male partner matters, too,” Buck Louis said. “Male preconception consumption of caffeinated beverages was just as strongly associated with pregnancy loss as females’.”
Multivitamins were found to reduce the risk of miscarriage, as women who took them before they got pregnant scored a 0.45. Women who continued to take multivitamins during early pregnancy fared even better, with a score of 0.21.
The researchers noted previous studies that identified Vitamin B6 and folic acid as effective in reducing the miscarriage risk.
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