A question that I am often asked by my patients is can alcohol affect the ability to conceive while undergoing infertility treatment? A study published in Human Reproduction in June 2019 seems to reassure that a few drinks per week will not affect one’s ability to conceive while undergoing IUI or IVF treatments.
This was a large Danish study looking at 1,708 women who had undergone 1511 intrauterine insemination cycles, 2,870 IVF cycles and 1,355 frozen embryo transfer cycles. Patients were placed in three categories:those reporting 1-2 drinks per week, 3 to 7 drinks per week and greater than seven drinks per week. Patients in the low (1-2 drinks per week) and moderate (3-7 drinks per week) drinking groups did not show a decrease chance of conception while undergoing IUI or IVF treatments.
The authors feel that drinking up to one alcoholic drink per day does not have any adverse affect on success rates during IUI or IVF cycles. Although there was no clear adverse affect on achieving a pregnancy in women who had greater than one alcoholic drink per day, the number of patients in these groups were very small so the authors felt less confident in stating that success rates during IUI or IVF the women in this high alcohol consumption group would not be affected. The groups were stratified by known factors that decrease fertility such as smoking cigarettes and high BMI.
Drinking up to one alcoholic drink per day while undergoing treatments does not affect success rates. Certainly as a patient approaches the IUI or egg retrieval it would make sense to stop alcohol intake due to the possible risks to the early embryo and fetus.
If you have questions about infertility treatment or lifestyle while trying to conceive, please contact us. We are here to help.