Sun, Oct 20, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Sugary drinks might affect fertility, gynecologist says

By Wang Chun-chung and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

National Cheng Kung University Hospital gynecologist Chen Ta-sheng, right, is pictured at the hospital in Tainan on Wednesday.

Photo: Wang Chun-chung, Taipei Times

Consuming sugary drinks every day for a year could lead to decreased fertility in men and women, a gynecologist said on Friday.

National Cheng Kung University Hospital gynecologist Chen Ta-sheng (陳達生) cited research published in the journal Fertility and Sterility in 2017 and last year.

It said that men and women who are of a suitable age to have children could see their ovum or sperm fertility decrease 25 percent if they drink one sugary beverage every day for a year.

The research defined sugary drinks as beverages with more than 10g of sugar per 100g of liquid.

Women who have been artificially impregnated or are undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) and drink sugary drinks daily for a year are 40 percent more likely to have a miscarriage or a stillborn child than women who do not, Chen said.

The cost and the process of IVF should supersede the need for a sweet drink, he added.

In terms of diet, Chen said that plasticizers and bisphenol A are often overlooked factors that might also lead to a miscarriage.

Plasticizers are found in all plastic containers and could seep into the contents of a container when heated to a high temperature or microwaved, he said, adding that when a great quantity of plasticizers are ingested, they are considered carcinogenic and could also cause an endocrine imbalance or infertility.

Regular exercise and a healthy diet go a long way toward increasing a person’s fertility, Chen added.

Chen said that irregular menstruation, such as periods that last more than 90 days or occur fewer than nine times per year, or periods that are abnormally small, are signs of decreased fertility.

Women should consult a doctor to see if this is caused by a hormonal imbalance, polycystic ovary syndrome or ovarian failure, he said.

Young couples should first attempt natural conception for at least half a year before visiting a doctor, Chen said.

Despite advances in medicine, nothing can be done if a woman has ovarian failure or if they cannot produce “good quality” ovum, Chen said.

Women diagnosed with ovarian failure or who are older than 35 should consider cryogenically preserving their ovum, Chen added.

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