BACKGROUND: Dietary factors, including sugar-sweetened beverages, may have adverse effects on fertility. Sugar-sweetened beverages were associated with poor semen quality in cross-sectional studies, and female soda intake has been associated with lower fecundability in some studies.
METHODS: We evaluated the association of female and male sugar-sweetened beverage intake with fecundability among 3,828 women planning pregnancy and 1,045 of their male partners in a North American prospective cohort study. We followed participants until pregnancy or for up to 12 menstrual cycles. Eligible women were aged 21-45 (male partners ≥21), attempting conception for ≤6 cycles, and not using fertility treatments. Participants completed a comprehensive baseline questionnaire, including questions on sugar-sweetened beverage consumption during the previous 4 weeks. We estimated time-to-pregnancy from follow-up questionnaires completed every 2 months by the female partner. We calculated adjusted fecundability ratios (FR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) according to intake of sugar- sweetened beverages using proportional probabilities regression.
RESULTS: Both female and male intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages were associated with reduced fecundability (FR = 0.81; 95% CI = 0.70, 0.94 and 0.78; 95% CI = 0.63, 0.95 for ≥7 sugar-sweetened beverages per week compared with none, for females and males, respectively). Fecundability was further reduced among those who drank ≥7 servings per week of sugar-sweetened sodas (FR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.59, 0.95 for females and 0.67, 95% CI = 0.51, 0.89 for males).
CONCLUSIONS: Sugar-sweetened beverages, particularly sodas and energy drinks, were associated with lower fecundability, but diet soda and fruit juice had little association.