Page last updated: Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Couples should avoid drinking alcohol during fertility treatment, study finds
Couples who shared slightly more than one bottle of wine a week reduced their chance of a baby through IVF treatment by 26%, according to a new study. This has lead experts to suggest that even women not suffering from fertility problems should consider reducing how much they drank if they are trying to become pregnant.

Dr Brooke Rossi, who led the study at Havard medical school in Boston, stated that that the chances of IVF success began to dip when patients drank the equivalent of six units a week, the same as two large glasses of wine or three pints of beer.

The most significant falls were among women who drank white wine and men who drank beer.

Drinking between two and three large glasses of white wine a week cut a woman’s chance of having a baby after an IVF cycle by up to 24%.

Partners of men who drank beer every day saw their chances of having a baby fall by 30%, while their chance of an embryo successfully implanting in the womb fell by 38%.

If both drank at least six units of any type of alcohol a week, the equivalent of sharing slightly more than one bottle of wine weekly, then their chance of IVF being successful fell by 26%.

The study asked 2,574 couples who underwent more than 5,300 cycles of IVF to estimate how much alcohol they drank and how often. Doctors do not know why alcohol cuts IVF success rates.

Previous studies have suggested that drinking could cause women to produce fewer eggs and also mean that fewer embryos implant in the womb.

Source: The findings were presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) annual conference in Atlanta For more information, visit

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