Is there an association between artificial sweetener consumption and assisted reproduction outcomes?

Reprod Biomed Online. 2018 Feb;36(2):145-153. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2017.11.004. Epub 2017 Nov 28.


Previous studies have suggested an association between high intake of sweetened beverages and a number of adverse health outcomes. In this cross-sectional study, we investigated the association between daily consumption of sweetened soft drinks or coffee and the outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment. Patients (n = 524) were interviewed by a nutritionist before ICSI treatment, using a food frequency questionnaire. Regression analysis showed that consumption of ≥3 servings of regular soft drinks or any amount of diet soft drinks was associated with oocyte dysmorphism, diminished embryo quality on days 2 and 3 of culture, and a mild effect on blastocyst formation, implantation and pregnancy rate. Consumption of artificially sweetened coffee was negatively associated with embryo quality on days 2 and 3. However, consumption of coffee or soft drinks was not associated with the odds of live birth. Even so, patients should be advised about the potential negative effects of sugar and artificial sweeteners before attempting infertility treatment. This study is limited by the use of a non-validated food frequency questionnaire, lack of information on quantity of sweeteners consumed, and lack of data on glucose levels in blood serum or follicular fluid. Further investigation is warranted.

Keywords: Eating habits; Female infertility; Intracytoplasmic sperm injection; Lifestyle; Sweeteners.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carbonated Beverages / adverse effects*
  • Coffee / adverse effects*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oocytes / drug effects*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic / drug effects*
  • Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic / statistics & numerical data
  • Sweetening Agents / adverse effects*
  • Young Adult


  • Coffee
  • Sweetening Agents