Drinking During Fertility Treatment

When a woman decides to proceed with in vitro fertilization (IVF), the main goal is a healthy pregnancy. Patients who enjoy the occasional glass of wine or beer may wonder if drinking is allowed while undergoing fertility treatments. Although pregnancy is the riskiest time for alcohol exposure, there are many reasons to cut this habit while trying to conceive (TTC) as well.


Give me the research

Although studies on pre-conception alcohol use and fertility are not totally conclusive, recent research suggests a possible concern. A current meta-analysis found a dose-response relationship between increased alcohol consumption and decreased fecundability. Put another way, the more a woman reported drinking, the lower the chances of conception. In another study, reduced chances of conception were seen with heavy and binge drinking. The authors explain that moderate to heavy drinking during the luteal phase and heavy drinking during ovulation could disturb the sequence of hormonal events needed to achieve pregnancy.

Folic acid

Many women know that the most important vitamin when TTC is folic acid. This nutrient can be obtained from the diet or a prenatal vitamin. Getting 400mcg each day while planning a pregnancy is recommended to reduce neural tube defect (NTD) risk. Alcohol interferes with how folic acid is absorbed in the body. Although concerns are most notable for chronic alcoholics, even low levels of drinking could decrease folic acid levels. To keep folic acid levels high, abstain from alcohol while undergoing fertility treatment to get pregnant.

Healthy coping mechanisms

For many women, a chilled glass of wine or delicious cocktail at the end of a long day can be a treat to look forward to. However, with a baby soon to be on board, women can benefit from finding healthier coping skills for stress and anxiety. Although not as delicious as a margarita, a nice walk outside at the end of the day or a calming yoga class are healthier options.

Preparing for 9 alcohol-free months

During pregnancy, there is no safe time and no safe amount of alcohol that can be consumed. Alcohol can affect the developing baby’s brain, causing lifelong impairment, and should be avoided completely once a pregnancy is recognized. To ease into the habit of avoiding alcohol, women who are undergoing IVF can practice saying no to drinking pre-conception.

Time for a mocktail

Although many women may find giving up drinking difficult, this approach is best. Avoiding alcohol during IVF may increase the chance of success, keep folic acid levels high, and set the tone for an alcohol-free pregnancy. During fertility treatment, say no to all forms of alcohol and consider a mocktail that can be just as delicious without any associated risks.

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