Stevia comes from a South American plant, Stevia rebaudiana, native to Brazil and Paraguay. The leaves of the plant have traditionally been used in those countries as a sweetener to their tea, for sweet treats and a medicine. Stevia can suppress the growth of oral bacteria to reduce tooth decay, and reduce blood sugar levels. Stevia has also been shown to kill beneficial gut bacteria, which isn't ideal.
Despite these apparent benefits, Stevia has not been universally accepted as being safe for consumption in the USA or Europe or other countries. This decision appears to have been made on many scientific studies since the 1960s showing that Stevia can reduce severely reduce fertility in animals. In males, Stevia greatly affects the metabolism and use of testosterone, the male hormone, and effects on male reproductive anatomy, to affect fertility by over 60% and also affect other general male characteristics which are reliant on male hormones.
In studies on female animals, Stevia was shown to reduce fertility by 57-79%, similar to the results on male studies. The effects on female infertility lasted for months after intake of Stevia was ceased. Stevia has this contraceptive effect as it impacts your hormones and hormone receptors on cells. The contraceptive properties of Stevia have been known for a long time - with early studies in 1968 showing this. Native tribes have traditionally used Stevia for centuries for its contraceptive purposes!
While I am all for natural alternatives to today's mass-produced artificial food and medicines, some plants when ingested do have some negative health consequences, while others can be deadly. Many medications are simply artificial forms of just one (of many) active constituents of a plant. Many Stevia products are similar, being mass-produced or artificial forms of the plant extracts, rather than being the whole leaf.
It appears that Stevia has long-known contraceptive effects, but this hasn't been widely made public. And despite this research, Stevia is still available for sale as a sweetener and food additive in many processed food products, which is concerning.
I'm not a fan of any artificial sweeteners, and sometimes the real thing is the safest option, but in small amounts only in real foods, such as in fruits or some sweet vegetables.
If you are looking to get pregnant in the near future, you need to really check what you are eating and what chemicals you are exposed to, before planning a family! This is something that I can help with!