Are you fond of fizzy drinks or diet cola breaks? Do you prefer sugar in your brew for a sweetener? If so, your 'diet' beverage could be messing with your pregnancy plans.
Did you know, artificial sweeteners are chemical-based and all the soda's and sugary drinks are made of artificial sweeteners? There are so many things to think about when you're trying to increase your chances of conceiving. But did you know or ever think that maybe your daily intake of soft drinks can affect your chances of having a baby?
Couples planning a pregnancy should consider limiting their consumption of these beverages, especially because they are related to other adverse health effects. Research has shown women undergoing fertility treatments found that frequent consumption of the artificial sweeteners commonly found in these beverages significantly decreased their chances of conceiving a child.
To conceive, 'consider cutting back on sodas'
Sugared sodas, and diet sodas are among the most popular beverages consumed by reproductive aged men and women. Research has shown that drinking one soda per day is linked with a 20-25 per cent reduction in the average monthly probability of conception for both men and women. These adverse effects are not only limited to natural conception but may also have implications if you are pursuing fertility treatments like IUI & IVF.
Soda and Infertility
Studies have found that excessive consumption of soda is strongly linked to infertility in both men and women. Men who consume soda regularly are at four time's the risk of lowering the sperm count, motility, and other parameters that affect fertility. Moreover, soda being an acidic beverage alters the pH of the body which further affects fertility. Aspartame is an artificial softener used in most soft drinks which can alter the functioning of the endocrine glands and lead to hormonal imbalances. Excess soda consumption can also lead to the generation of free radicals which can result in the death of many sperm and ovum. Besides, most soft drinks are rich in caffeine which reduces menstrual bleeding as it is a vasoconstrictor. Hence, it is clear that excessive consumption of soda can lead to infertility in both men as well as women.
Other Harmful Effects
Besides the above-mentioned direct effects of soda consumption on fertility, there are various other ways in which the consumption of soda affects fertility like:
* Soda is extremely high in sugar content which leads to excessive weight gain, obesity, poor digestion, etc. which is extremely bad for fertility.
* Soda intake could cause subfertility through increased risk of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, weight gain, impaired fasting glucose which can affect ovulation and risk of polycystic ovarian syndrome.
* Sodas and soft drinks are also rich in chemicals like additives, preservatives, colourants, etc. which are also bad for fertility.
* Soda intake leads to ovulatory infertility among females and lower sperm concentration and total sperm count among males.
* Excessive soda consumption increases blood sugar levels and can lead to type-2 diabetes which is not only bad for fertility but can also result in complications during pregnancy.
* Soda consumption disrupts the hormonal levels in the body, including estrogen, which can also contribute to infertility.
* Besides, soda is highly addictive and has other negative health effects on gut health, bone strength, and various organs of the body. All these factors combined do affect fertility in a very negative way.
The takeaway, ditch the diet drinks. In order to boost your baby-making chances include more eggs, green leafy vegetables, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, stop smoking, decreasing alcohol intake and most importantly the soda intake.
(Anju Yadav is a Senior Consultant- Fertility, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Gurgaon)
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