Studys may explain why caffeine consumption can hurt a woman’s chances of getting pregnant.The results of a study conducted in mice show that caffeine can reduce muscle activity in the fallopian tubes, which are responsible for carrying eggs from the ovaries to the womb.

It is generally assumed that tiny hair-like structures, called cilia, line the tubes.  Muscle contractions in the tubes move the cilia which assists them in pushing the eggs forward.

However, it appears that caffeine impedes the muscle contractions so that eggs can’t move down the tubes.

Researchers hope this finding may assist with both fertility treatments and other issues that may arise in a women’s sexual health.

“As well as potentially helping women who are finding it difficult to get pregnant, a better understanding of the way Fallopian tubes work will help doctors treat pelvic inflammation and sexually-transmitted disease more successfully,” said Professor Ward.

“It could also increase our understanding of what causes ectopic pregnancy,” he added.

An ectopic pregnancy is an painful and potentially life-threatening situation in which embryos get stuck and start developing inside a woman’s Fallopian tube.  It can result in infertility.

The study was published in the British Journal of Pharmacology.