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Avoid alcohol to improve chances of conception

More than 14 units of alcohol a week reduces fertility, research shows.
Fertility and alcohol links

Although total abstinence is not necessary, high alcohol intake reduces fertility rates.

Thats the conclusion of a study of 6,120 Danish women aged 21-45, in stable relationships, trying to conceive but not using fertility treatment, from 2007-16.

Each completed bimonthly questionnaires for a year, measuring alcohol consumption in servings (330ml of beer, 120ml of wine, 20ml of spirits).

Those drinking 14 or more servings a week were slightly more likely to have reduced fertility, suggests a study published by the BMJ, although authors sounded a note of caution as only 1.2% of women admitted to drinking alcohol at that level.

Women who drank 14 or more units a week reported 37 pregnancies in 307 menstrual cycles, compared with 1,381 pregnancies in 8,054 cycles in women who did not drink.

Abstain

Low to moderate drinking, up to 7 servings a week, seemed

...

Although total abstinence is not necessary, high alcohol intake reduces fertility rates.

Alcohol and fertility link

That’s the conclusion of a study of 6,120 Danish women aged 21-45, in stable relationships, trying to conceive but not using fertility treatment, from 2007-16.

Each completed bimonthly questionnaires for a year, measuring alcohol consumption in servings (330ml of beer, 120ml of wine, 20ml of spirits).

Those drinking 14 or more servings a week were slightly more likely to have reduced fertility, suggests a study published by the BMJ, although authors sounded a note of caution as only 1.2% of women admitted to drinking alcohol at that level.

Women who drank 14 or more units a week reported 37 pregnancies in 307 menstrual cycles, compared with 1,381 pregnancies in 8,054 cycles in women who did not drink.

Abstain

Low to moderate drinking, up to 7 servings a week, seemed to have no effect on fertility, nor did the type of drink consumed.

But the authors recommend couples abstain from alcohol during their fertile window as the foetus may be vulnerable shortly after conception.

Drinking is an integral part of many Danish women’s lifestyles, with more than 30% of those aged 16-34 drinking at least 7 units a week.

Researchers did not take into account the male partner’s alcohol intake, which is known to affect sperm quality. The conclusion is that while total abstinence may not be necessary to maximise conception chances, binge drinking is best avoided.

Mikkelsen EM et al (2016) Alcohol consumption and fecundability: prospective Danish cohort study. BMJ. doi: 10.1136/bmj.i4262

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