Diet drinks may reduce a woman's chance of getting pregnant during IVF, a study suggests.
Would-be mothers who opted for pop with artificial sweeteners, or put sugar substitutes in hot drinks, produced poorer eggs and embryos, researchers said.
While it is widely believed taking artificial sweeteners is healthier than taking sugar, both options raised the risk of an embryo being found to have at least one deformity.
The findings were based on a study of women undergoing fertility treatment at an IVF clinic and presented at the congress of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, in Salt Lake City.
The 524 women were asked about their dietary habits, and whether those who drank diet drinks and coffee with either sugar or artificial sweeteners. Over two years, the researchers looked at 5,548 egg cells taken from the women undergoing fertility treatment. They noted whether any form of shape defect was present or absent in the egg.