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16. 11. 2021

The effects of alcohol on fertility


Our team has been working hard to develop a holistic approach to fertility that considers both the medical side of the treatment and any other external factor that can affect a couple's chances to conceive. In our previous blog articles, we have already discussed the impact of food on fertility. We have also mentioned that excessive alcohol consumption can negatively affect patients' health and, consequently, their chances of becoming pregnant. Here we will consider the results of some studies to give our patients some insights into the topic. 

What are the effects of excessive alcohol consumption? 

One study conducted by scientists from the University of Louisville to test the impact of wine on a woman's fertility can help us answer this question. One peculiarity of this study is that it is the first to consider the woman's menstrual cycle phase to draw final results. Scientists found that having more than six alcoholic drinks per week was associated with lower chances of conceiving than having zero alcoholic drinks in any menstrual cycle phase. Women also have a lower probability of conception if they drink three to six alcoholic drinks per week in the last two weeks of their menstrual cycle, namely in the luteal phase stage. One more interesting finding was that alcohol consumption could also affect male fertility. 

Why could drinking wine reduce a woman's chances to conceive? 

According to experts, alcohol can cause an increase in the level of hormones, which leads the woman's body to be less likely to produce and grow a fertilized egg. If this crucial step is missing, she will have no positive probability of carrying out a healthy pregnancy. While this study shows a significant association between drinking wine and infertility, fertility experts and scientists need more studies to confirm a causal relationship between these two variables. 

But should women completely stop drinking wine during IVF? 

Another study from the USA can help us to answer this question. According to the results, drinking one glass of red wine per week could improve a woman's fertility. Given that this study was carried out on a small sample, it is not possible to confirm a causal link between red wine consumption and fertility. However, there exists a positive relationship between the two. This fact suggests that women may not have to give up alcohol consumption in the absolute sense, especially if this stresses them out in a significant way. Stress can have a substantial negative impact on chances to conceive, so if a glass of wine with a friend from time to time can help decrease the IVF process's anxiety, it may even turn out to be helpful. 

It is common knowledge that excessive alcohol consumption during pregnancy and when trying to conceive is not advisable. However, consuming small doses on particular occasions may not be so detrimental. At Unica, we want to try everything to make your dream of having a healthy baby come true. That is why we offer the help of nutritionists to help you moderate your diet and alcohol consumption while you try to become pregnant.

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