Looking to have a baby? Put down the soda


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For would-be mothers and fathers, a little less soda is a good thing. A recent study has found that drinking one or more sugary beverages a day can lead to a reduced chance of conceiving — and that finding applies to both men and women.

Boston University researchers found an association between reduced fertility and the consumption of sweetened drinks after surveying the lifestyle habits of more than 3,800 American and Canadian women and about 1,000 of their male partners.

After controlling for other factors such as obesity, diet quality and alcohol use, the researchers found that sweetened drinks reduced the overall average monthly probability of conception among both men and women by 20 percent.

Sugary drinks also seemed to have more effect on men: Those who drank at least one soda per day had a 33 percent lower probability of achieving conception, compared with a 25 percent among women. The researchers said one possible explanation for this is increased insulin resistance, which may negatively affect ovulatory function and sperm quality.

Researchers said couples who are trying to have a child should consider limiting their consumption of those drinks. In addition to upping the odds of conception, having fewer sugary beverages offers other health benefits.

But what about fruit juices, energy drinks and diet sodas? While sometimes equally high in sugar content, these drinks seemed to have no association with fertility issues, the researchers said.

Dropping the sugary drink might be a short-term sacrifice for prospective parents, but cutting back could instead bring them something even sweeter: a brand new bundle of joy.

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