Bad News: Bacon and Sausage Might Make You Less Fertile


And chicken makes you more virile.

Uh-oh, gentlemen, bacon and sausage might be making you less fertile.

Researchers in Boston found that men who ate lots of processed meat—like bacon and sausage—had a worse success rate during fertility treatments than men who ate the least amount. Guys who eat a lot of chicken, on the other hand, were more successful at making babies than those who didn’t.

“Many studies have shown that diet can affect human fertility, but our diets are so complex that it is difficult to tease out how particular food types may affect reproductive outcomes,” said Dr. Rebecca Sokol, president of the American Society for Reproductive Health, in a statement. “This study suggests that the type of meat a man consumes may influence his sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg.”

Here’s how the study worked. Researchers led by Dr. Wei Xia at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health looked at 141 men and their female partners who underwent in vitro fertilization at Massachusetts General Hospital between 2007 and 2014, asking the men about their meat intake during the treatments.

Here’s what they discovered: The fertilization rate among men who ate the most poultry was 13% higher than those who ate the least amount of chicken. This applied to couples that used both conventional in vitro fertilization and a process called intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection.