Caffeine: its direct and indirect influence on reproduction

J Reprod Med. 1977 Aug;19(2):55-63.


Caffeine constitutes the active drug principle in a number of commonly consumed beverages. Among North American adults, it holds the distinction as being probably the most widely utilized psychotropic drug. The compound is most often consumed in the form of coffee, which is derived from the bean of the tropical tree Coffea arabica or Coffea robusta. The unique pharmacologic and physiologic properties of caffeine have led to extensive research efforts, especially in the area of mutagenically and teratogenically mediated effects. In this regard, investigators have often overlooked the alterations in catecholamine, free fatty acid and cyclic nucleotide levels that the the presence of caffeine brings about. Such alterations are discussed in light of their effect on reproduction, and an attempt has been made to clarify the effects that the associated habits of alcohol and smoking have on the reproductive system.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Animals
  • Caffeine / adverse effects
  • Caffeine / pharmacology*
  • Catecholamines / urine
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reproduction / drug effects*
  • Smoking
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects
  • Teratogens


  • Catecholamines
  • Teratogens
  • Caffeine
  • Cyclic AMP