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Expert reaction to study looking at sugary drinks intake and measures of IVF success

A new study claims that women who consume sugary drinks while having IVF cut their chances of conceiving. Drinking more than one sugary beverage a day reduces a woman's chance of having a live birth after IVF by 16 percent, a Harvard University study suggests. Prof. Geraldine Hartshorne comments:

“For optimal fertility, being healthy is important. This includes not smoking, limiting drinking of alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight and having adequate exercise, sleep and a balanced diet that includes all food groups.


“It is exceptionally difficult to design studies that test lifestyle choices properly, because all of the choices are interlinked. For example, the decision to drink a sugary soda, which has more calories than a diet version, may be related to either gaining weight or expending more energy through exercise to stay lean. The choice of a sweet drink may also reflect a person’s other food choices and perhaps the overall balance of different types of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, fibre and so on. Consequently, many different factors and individual differences that are not measured can greatly influence the results.

“This study has attempted to isolate sugary and caffeinated drink consumption from the rest of a person’s lifestyle in order to measure its association with IVF success. The authors found some association between sugary drinks and lower outcomes, however, the evidence is not very strong.”

Prof. Geraldine Hartshorne, Head of Clinical Faculty, Warwick Medical School,

The study was published in the journal Fertility and Sterility

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