One or more soft drinks a day – whether consumed by men or women – can impair fertility. Sweetened drinks noticeably reduce the chance of pregnancy.
Sugared soft drinks reduce the chance of pregnancy
About 15 percent of all couples in the industrialized nations remain unintentionally childless. Diet is also one of the risk factors for infertility. An unhealthy diet can reduce the chances of having offspring, while a healthy diet can contribute to an uncomplicated conception.
In February 2018, a study by researchers at the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) was published in the journal Epidemiology. They found that consuming just one sugar-sweetened soft drink can reduce the chance of pregnancy. It doesn’t matter whether the drink is consumed by a woman or a man, as it has a negative effect on the fertility of both sexes.
Just one soft drink a day reduces fertility by 25 to 33 percent
“We found an association between the consumption of sweetened soft drinks and reduced fertility. This association holds true even when other influences are taken into accounts, such as obesity, caffeine consumption, alcohol, smoking, and overall diet quality,” explains Dr. Elizabeth Hatch, Professor of Epidemiology.
“Couples planning a pregnancy should therefore reduce their soft drink consumption – especially since these drinks can have many other negative health effects.”
For their study, the researchers followed 3,828 women between the ages of 21 and 45 who lived in the USA or Canada and 1,045 of their male partners. It was found that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages noticeably reduced fecundity in both women and men. Fecundability represents the monthly probability of becoming pregnant.
Women who drank at least 1 soft drink per day had a 25 percent lower fecundability, and men even had a 33 percent lower fecundability. For energy drinks, fertility fell even more.
Only a weak association with reduced fertility was found for fruit juices or diet soft drinks.
In the case of unwanted childlessness, it is better not to have soft drinks or sugar
Since sugar is consumed in large quantities in those countries where fertility is declining, the findings of this study could be used to reconsider one’s own sugar consumption – especially if one has previously tried unsuccessfully to become pregnant.
Earlier studies had already established the influence of soft drinks on hormone balance and shown that drinking these drinks can lead to premature onset of menstruation in girls.
In the case of an existing pregnancy, the consumption of soft drinks can even increase the risk of premature birth, but – according to studies – especially if they are sweetened with sweeteners, diet soft drinks are not an alternative either.