No Suga, Suga: Why You Need To Dump Your Sweet Tooth When TTC
Will Sugar Harm My Changes of Getting Pregnant?
Look, I think Tiramisu hailed from the heavens, and on the seventh day, God created cheesecake. I do not discriminate against sugar, in fact, worship it in its every form. It's the one thing that even my healthiest of lady friends can't resist (and my tribe is a patchwork of diehard vegans, paleos, gluten-frees and pedantic organics). But the ubiquity of sugar in its refined form is not helping our species' inside's, and fertility functions are no exception - for women AND men.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Sugar consumption can compromise ovarian function*, cervical mucus**, and vaginal pH levels in women***, and reduce sperm motility in men****. Sugar turns into acid in the body which is why it is detrimental to so many essential functions. Also precarious are your simple carbohydrates- your white bread, white rice, white pasta, white flour...most everything we adore, of course. When we eat these lovelies our pancreas has to work overtime to produce insulin to balance blood sugar, and after a while, we build up a tolerance or insulin resistance. This is tied to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Avoid refined sugar, processed sugars (like corn syrup and fructose), simple carbs, and even foods sweetened with "fruit concentrate," as this too is an unsuspecting fertility killer. Sugar, in excess to what we're already getting from fruit, veggies, and whole grains, turns even the best cervical mucus to acid, and an acid = a hostile environment for swimmers (and we want our mucus anything but hostile when TTC). As for the sperms themselves, if Daddy's been pounding the big gulps, they can count on a lower motility rate as well, so work with your partner in cutting back on the sugar to optimize your chances of getting pregnant.
THE NITTY GRITTY
****Y.H. Chiu, M.C. Afeiche, A.J. Gaskins, P.L. Williams, J. Mendiola, N. Jørgensen, S.H. Swan, J.E. Chavarro; Sugar-sweetened beverage intake in relation to semen quality and reproductive hormone levels in young men. Hum Reprod 2014; 29 (7): 1575-1584. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deu102
(No conflicts of interest present in the above study)