Boston University researchers surveyed nearly 4,000 women and more than 1,000 of their male partners, looking at everyone’s medical history, lifestyle factors and diet. The data revealed that drinking soda was linked to a reduction in the average monthly probability of conception for both men and women.
Women who drank at least one soda per day demonstrated a 25 percent lower monthly probability of conception, while men who drank at least one soda per day had a 33 percent lower probability of successfully conceiving with their partner.
Drinking soda is also tied to early menstruation and poor semen quality — although few studies have investigated the direct effects that soda may have on fertility.
The authors explain that given the amount of sugary drinks consumed across the U.S., their findings may have important implications for public health.
“We found positive associations,” says lead study author Elizabeth Hatch, who is a professor of epidemiology, “between intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and lower fertility, which were consistent after controlling for many other factors, including obesity, caffeine intake, alcohol, smoking, and overall diet quality.”
The authors suggest if a couple is trying to get pregnant, they may want to try cutting back on soda until future research can determine why this link exists.
Unfortunately, it is already true that African American women experience all types of pregnancy loss more often than do white women—not only miscarriage but also stillbirth, preterm birth, and infant death.
Infertility among African American women is not only a silent and hidden problem in the African American Community, but one that continues to be on the rise.
According to Dr. Desiree McCarthy-Keith, a Reproductive Endocrinologist at Georgia Reproductive Specialists, research shows that among the 7.3 million women in the United States, approximately 11.5% of African American women experience a variety of infertility problems compared to 7% of white women.
A study sponsored by The National Institutes of Health found African Americans were more than twice as likely to have a late pregnancy loss, including stillbirth. That study attributed the difference to the higher rates of pregnancy complications like diabetes, high blood pressure, premature rupture of membranes, uterine bleeding, placental abnormalities, and problems with the umbilical cord in labor.
Even with all this negative press against soda, the past half a century has seen a significant rise in the amount of added sugar in the average diet of a U.S. individual. One third of this total sugar intake comes from soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks, which are associated with weight gain and conditions such as type 2 diabetes.
Researchers did not find a strong association between infertility and drinking fruit juices or diet sodas.