Cut sugar to improve reproductive health

If COVID restrictions have turned you toward the cookie jar more often, you’re certainly not alone. But both men and women looking to boost their odds of getting pregnant should consider this: “Research in recent years has shown that consistently high sugar intake can negatively impact both male and female fertility,” says the website Open Access Government.

For example, a study from Boston University discovered that just one sugary soft drink a day reduced conception rates in women by about 25% and in men by about 33%. Some reasons include:

  • PCOS–A high sugar intake is the biggest dietary factor in PCOS, the website says.
  • Egg quality–high blood sugar levels decrease egg quality. A Japanese study found that the more sugar women consumed in the months leading up to an IVF cycle, the poorer their egg quality was.
  • Sperm quality–High blood sugar is linked to higher levels of sperm DNA damage, which can decrease chances of conception and increase the likelihood of miscarriage.

To reduce the impact of sugar on your fertility:

  • Choose whole grain carbohydrates over sugars.
  • Maintain regular exercise.
  • Get sufficient sleep.
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