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Drinking Alcohol and Trying to Conceive

  • 4.7 (7 Votes)
  • 36446 views

Alcohol has adverse effects on fertility and leads to infertility. For women trying to conceive, it is essential to know that drink affects fertility and how.

Plenty of babies have been conceived after a few too many tequilas (wink wink, nudge nudge)! But while alcohol has been known to help ease tension and lower inhibitions so you can do the deed, drinking while you’re trying to conceive can hurt, rather than help, your pregnancy plans.

Drinking while trying to conceive:

If you really want to improve your chances of conceiving, cutting back on drinking or stopping drinking entirely can be a good move. Both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend that women who are hoping to become pregnant stop consuming alcohol. Yup, completely. These recommendations are based on the risks of drinking while pregnant, which is associated with low birth weight, premature birth, developmental delays, and more. Fetal alcohol syndrome is the most well-known effect of alcohol use during pregnancy. It’s also advisable to abstain from drinking during fertility treatments.

How To Conceive, Drinking Affects Fertility

That doesn’t mean that people listen—a CDC report found that 3 in 4 women who want to get pregnant do not stop drinking when they stop using birth control. There’s no proof that drinking during early pregnancy is totally safe. One 2013 study did not find adverse outcomes for drinking in the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. Still, experts say that even light or moderate alcohol during any stage can affect fetal growth and development, so it's best to be cautious.

Striking a balance:

Staying away from alcohol is easier said than done, especially if you end up spending a while trying to get pregnant! Always being the sober one at parties, holidays, and nights out for months on end can be difficult. But don't worry—there are ways to strike a healthy balance between taking your fertility seriously and treating yourself every now and then

Light drinking shouldn't affect your fertility too much. It isn’t likely to cause a miscarriage, according to a 2007 review of medical literature on prenatal drinking. A couple of episodes of binge drinking during a pregnancy won’t cause a miscarriage but drinking five or more drinks several times a week might.

Getting Pregnant, Drinking Affects Fertility

Many women choose to be careful about the timing of their drinking when trying to conceive, abstaining from drinking during their two week wait (after ovulation) to maximize their chances of a healthy pregnancy.

This all can sound pretty scary, especially if you have a taste for a good craft brew. But don’t be too alarmed—a glass of wine or a beer here and there won’t hurt too much, even in the first few weeks or before you know you are pregnant. Heavy and regular drinking is more of a risk for both miscarriage and the development of the baby. 

To make the best decision about how you will manage alcohol when you are trying to conceive, talk to your healthcare provider about your lifestyle and alcohol consumption habits.

Dr. Mala Raj

About The Author

Laparoscopic Surgeon Dr. Mala Raj
Chennai

Dr. Mala Raj is an infertility specialist, obstetrician and gynecologist specializing in IVF, IUI, Reproductive Medicine and Gynecology Laparoscopy procedures. Dr. Mala Raj has completed her MBBS from Kilpauk Medical College in 1992, DGO from Sriramachandra Medical College in 1996. Then, she pursued Advanced Gynecology Laparoscopy Surgery and Diploma in Reproductive Medicine from Kiel University in Germany in 2001 and 2014 respectively. You can visit Elawoman.com for more details.

SOURCES AND REFERENCES:

  1. Things to remember when you start trying to conceive get pregnant, Elawoman - 2017
  2. Best fertility tracker and calculator app - ela trying to get pregnant, Elawoman - 2018

7 Comments

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Abbey Joe

I want to conceive but my husband doesn't quit drinking. Will I be able to conceive with this?

Oct. 3, 2018, 10:35 a.m. 5.0

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Meenakshi Dixit

I got the points why alcohol consumption is bad for pregnancy. Thanks for sharing this.

Sept. 17, 2018, 10:13 p.m. 5.0

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Sasmita Raghu

Akpeteshie is the most preferred alcoholic beverage among pregnant women. They are produced by distilling palm wine or sugar cane.

May 29, 2018, 8:56 a.m. 4.5

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Gauri Jha

I drink occasionally. Is that harmful too for my fertility?

March 5, 2018, 5:16 p.m. 4.5

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Mohit Mhatre

Smoking has very adverse effects on fertility as it can change the DNA in sperm. In fact, 75% of infants with fetal liquor disorder, a kind of birth defect is typically connected with maternal utilization of liquor amid pregnancy accounts even for father taking alcohol regularly.

Nov. 2, 2017, 2:08 p.m. 5.0

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Sunita Sindhu

It is a fact that ladies who devour more than 5 mixed drinks for seven days take more time to get pregnant. Moreover, ladies who drink 5 or less mixed beverages on an average of seven days have very low fertility chances.

Nov. 2, 2017, 2:03 p.m. 4.5

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Chandini Methwa

I avoid drinking since the day I planned to conceive until my child was 2 years old or I was not breastfeeding. Alcohol can weaken your immune and you will be an easy target for various diseases.

Sept. 23, 2017, 10:03 a.m. 4.5

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