Could Your Diet Coke Habit be Affecting Your Fertility?

According to a new study, drinking soda regularly could mess with your fertility. Does that mean you should put down the can if you're looking to conceive?

Soda impacts fertility  successo images/Shutterstock
Chances are, you've tried (and failed and failed and failed) to drop your soda addiction, only to find yourself hankering for a carbonated, caffeinated drink a few times a week. But if you're looking for yet another reason to break up with Diet Coke, this just might do it: A study to be presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's congress in Salt Lake City suggests that frequent soda consumption might be reducing your fertility. 

Researchers from Federal University of Sao Paulo observed 524 patients and found that artificial sweeteners—the kind you'll find in diet soda—were linked to lower rates of implantation in IVF patients. And before you tell yourself that regularly sweetened sodas won't have a similar effect, hear this: Researchers found a link between the sugar added to regular sodas and poorer quality of eggs and embryos.

It's not just soda either—you may also want to cut back on syrupy coffee drinks, as both real sugar and artificial sweeteners added to them can have similar effects on fertility. Sorry, pumpkin spice latte devotees!

“This is a very interesting study that suggests the false promise of artificial sweeteners that are found in soft drinks and added to drinks, such as coffee, may have a significant effect on the quality and fertility of woman's eggs and this may further impact on the chances of conception,” Professor Adam Balen, chairman of the British Fertility Society, told The Daily Telegraph“These findings are highly significant to our population. There should be more scrutiny of food additives and better information available to the public and, in particular, those wishing to conceive.”

Researchers focused on women who were undergoing IVF for the purpose of the study—so if you're looking to conceive without fertility treatments, this might not quite apply to you. With that being said, we're going to echo your mom's advice: Soda isn't exactly doing your health any favors, so it might be smart to limit consumption even if you're not undergoing IVF treatments.

“A state of good health including a healthy diet is essential to IVF success," Owen K. Davis, MD, President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine said in a release for the study. We need to educate our patients on pesticides and sweeteners. Cutting out diet soda, sweeteners, and sugar and learning about USDA’s pesticide classifications to be able to shop smarter may take some effort, but patients need to know they can improve their chances of pregnancy if they take these steps.”