‘Limit your alcohol intake if you want a family,’ UCL fertility expert warns women
- Dr. Helen O’Neill should stop drinking three months before she gets pregnant
- Five percent drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week, research suggests
Forget ditching alcohol for dry January alone: Women trying to conceive should try to stop drinking for the middle of every month.
Dr Helen O’Neill, a fertility expert at the Institute of Women’s Health at University College London, says women should stop drinking completely when trying to start a family and stick to the plan for at least three months before get pregnant.
But he says an alternative tactic could work for those who refuse to give up alcohol completely.
As evidence suggests that women who drink during the last two weeks of their monthly cycle or during ovulation are less likely to become pregnant, the advice is for women to stop drinking for two weeks of each month to give themselves a better chance of conceiving. .
The women’s health researcher said: “I would tell all women to stop drinking when they want to start a family.”
Dr. Helen O’Neill, a fertility expert at University College London’s Institute of Women’s Health, says women should stop drinking completely when trying to start a family.
Evidence suggests that women who drink during the last two weeks of their monthly cycle or during ovulation are less likely to become pregnant.
But those who don’t should cut out alcohol when they’re in the luteal phase. [the two weeks before a period].
“The wine club can argue, but alcohol seems to reduce the chances of getting pregnant at certain times of the month.”
Research conducted by Dr. O’Neill’s fertility testing firm, Hertility Health, looked at 122,000 women using home fertility test kits. He found that a third of women trying for a baby drink more than four units a week, the equivalent of two standard glasses of wine.
It also found that five per cent of women drink more than the 14 units of alcohol per week recommended by the NHS to keep health risks at a low level.
A 2021 study, led by the University of Louisville, suggests that drinking during the luteal phase may alter hormonal events, affecting the chances of a successful conception.
It found that having three to six drinks a week during this time was linked to a 44 percent lower chance of getting pregnant.
Research published in the Hertility Reproductive Report also found that more than 40 percent of those trying to conceive do not exercise regularly and 28 percent smoke.
Meanwhile, less than a third of women surveyed were found to have a 28-day cycle, meaning couples using this time scale risk misjudging ovulation time, limiting their chances. to conceive.
Dr O’Neill said: “The healthcare system is being driven by outdated data which has led to systemic breaching of women’s healthcare needs.”