Wine Fueled Weekends - Does Booze Affect Your Chances of Getting Pregnant?

Can I Drink When I'm Trying To Conceive?

I had this feeling that booze and trying to get pregnant weren't compatible unless you were a young twenty, four Midori sours deep and trying not to get pregnant with the cute Norwegian in town for the night. I'm deeply conflicted on this. Not on the Norwegian, clearly, take him till pancakes. I'm conflicted about the booze. Sometimes the only way to take the edge off the fertility stress is a nice, big glass of red, ya feel me? Then there are your open bar parties, holidays and hot toddies, new years and bubbles, summer sundowns and rose, there's always a reason, right? So, what's the bottom line about booze and your ability to make a babe? Is it Good=cause less stress or Harm in any amount=cause sugars, toxins etc?


You aren't going to like this, but I assure you, I like it even less. Various studies (citations and hard facts below) support even moderate intake of five or fewer drinks a week is associated with decreased fertility, or as they call it, decreased fucundability.  

More specifically, "An alcohol-induced rise of estrogen levels, observed in animal experiments and among healthy female study subjects (28, 29), may reduce FSH secretion, which may suppress folliculogenesis and affect ovulation. Alcohol may also have direct negative effects on the maturation of the ovum (30, 31), ovulation, early blastocyst development, and implantation (32)."*


Use the 90/10 S.O.S. Rule of Imbibing during TTC (trying to conceive). 90% of the time don't drink but leave that 10% for your S.O.S., or Super Obligation Session.  (BTW, 10% equates to 3 days total per month, we recommend 1-2 drinks at max on those 3 days). Your own personal Super Obligatory Session, or S.O.S., may be your best ladies wedding, or the day your boss is a dicknut, or that fancy meal with the vintage red they are pouring and you will resent not drinking it more than you'll ever resent drinking it.  Why is the 10% important? Why not just stop completely? If you can do that resentment free, do it. For the rest of us, more rigidity and restriction when there's already so many Rules and Regulations while trying to get pregnant is counterproductive and eventually sets us up to fail.

If you are like me (Irish) and wondering how to cut back from that nightly wine habit, stay tuned to more from B&B - we can help. 



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More Excerpts from various studies:

High alcohol consumption was associated with increased risk of infertility examinations at hospitals and with lower numbers of first and second partus. It may be important for the female partner in an infertile couple to limit alcohol intake or to not drink at all.*

The definition of high consumption of alcohol was based on the Swedish National Food Administration recommendations that the consumption of more than 140 g per week should be considered to have negative effects on health (13. Low consumers were defined as drinking less than 50 g per week (14.*  (140g is 10 drinks per week for women).

In a study of 430 Danish couples aged 20-35 years trying to conceive for the first time resulted in the following, "In the six cycles of follow up 64% (179) of women with a weekly alcohol intake of less than five drinks and 55% (75) of women with a higher intake conceived. After adjustment for cycle number, smoking in either partner or smoking exposure in utero, centre of enrolment, diseases in female reproductive organs, woman's body mass index, sperm concentration, and duration of menstrual cycle, the odds ratio decreased with increasing alcohol intake from 0.61 (95% confidence interval 0.40 to 0.93) among women consuming 1-5 drinks a week to 0.34 (0.22 to 0.52) among women consuming more than 10 drinks a week (P=0.03 for trend) compared with women with no alcohol intake. Among men no dose-response association was found after control for confounders including women's alcohol intake.**

OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between moderate alcohol intake and fertility. METHODS. Interviews were conducted with 3833 women who recently gave birth and 1050 women from seven infertility clinics. The case subjects were categorized based on the infertility specialist's assignment of the most likely cause of infertility: ovulatory factor, tubal disease, cervical factor, endometriosis, or idiopathy. Separate logistic regression models were used to assess the relationship between alcohol use and each type of infertility, adjusted for age, infertility center, cigarette smoking, caffeine use, number of sexual partners, use of an intrauterine device (for tubal disease), and body mass index and exercise (for ovulatory factor). RESULTS. We found an increase in infertility, due to ovulatory factor or endometriosis, with alcohol use. The odds ratio for ovulatory factor was 1.3 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.0, 1.7) for moderate drinkers and 1.6 (95% CI = 1.1, 2.3) for heavier drinkers, compared with nondrinkers. The risk of endometriosis was roughly 50% higher in case subjects with any alcohol intake than in control subjects (OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.1, 2.3, at moderate levels; OR = 1.5, 95% CI = 0.8, 2.7, at heavier levels). CONCLUSIONS. Moderate alcohol use may contribute to the risk of specific types of infertility.***

*Effects of alcohol consumption on female fertility during an 18-year period; Jan Eggert, M.D., Holger Theobald, M.D., Ph.D., Peter Engfeldt, M.D., Ph.D., February 2004Volume 81, Issue 2, Pages 379–383, DOI: 

**Does moderate alcohol consumption affect fertility? Follow up study among couples planning first pregnancy BMJ 1998317 doi: 22 August 1998)

***F Grodstein, M B Goldman, and D W Cramer.  Infertility in women and moderate alcohol use. American Journal of Public Health September 1994: Vol. 84, No. 9, pp. 1429-1432. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.84.9.1429430