A study by Israeli researchers from Sheba Tel Hashomer Medical Center’s IVF unit and experts from Harvard and Columbia Universities found that ay lowers chances of IVF success by 20%. The findings were published last month in Fertility and Sterility journal.
Experts examined 360 women who underwent IVF treatments at Israel’s Sheba Hospital between 2006 and 2014; they were asked to fill a questionnaire detailing their eating habits, including how often they consumed sugary and energy drinks, coffee, and mineral and tap water. Researchers then evaluated the number of oocytes retrieved, eggs successfully fertilized and good-quality embryos obtained, as well as implantation, pregnancy and birth rates. 60% of the participants reported drinking at least 1 cup of coffee a day. 40% said they drank sugary drinks and a further 27% consumed “diet” drinks (i.e. Diet Coke or Diet Sprite).
The findings reveal a clear relation between drinking at least 1 non-diet fizzy drink a day and lower IVF success rates. Women who consumed soft drinks performed more poorly than those who didn’t in all the investigated criteria. Their chances of falling pregnant were 20% less, and they were at 3.5 times the risk for both a chemical pregnancy (miscarriage before 5th week of gestation) and a miscarriage at a later stage. No such correlation was found for coffee, “diet” drinks, mineral and tap water.
According to head researcher, Dr Ronit Machtinger, the negative effects are caused by elevated glucose levels, which affect follicular carbohydrate metabolism and insulin levels, factors associated with reduces embryo quality.
The experts hope that their findings will provide another tool for fertility specialists to assist women undergoing fertility treatments. They also suggested further research was needed to evaluate the impact of sugars found in foods on chances of IVF success.