Three glasses of wine a week could cut a woman’s chance of conceiving by nearly half, study suggests
- University of Louisville measured the alcohol intake of 413 women over 19 months
- Found that those who drank more heavily were less likely to get pregnant
- Suggested alcohol may disrupt ‘luteal phase’ by triggering a hormone surge
Just three medium glasses of wine a week can reduce a woman’s chances of conceiving, a study suggests.
This and drinking heavily — more than six a week — during the “luteal phase,” when the uterus prepares for a fertilized egg, were linked to a 44 percent lower chance.
The study said alcohol can disrupt and shift the phase by causing a hormone surge.
And those who drank heavily during ovulation were estimated to be 61 percent less likely compared to non-drinkers.
Just three medium glasses of wine a week can reduce a woman’s chances of conceiving, a study at the University of Louisville suggests
US experts looked at 413 women for 19 months for the University of Louisville study, published in Human Reproduction.
dr. Kira Taylor, senior author of the study, said: ‘These findings are important because some women who are trying to conceive believe it is ‘safe’ to drink during certain parts of the menstrual cycle.
“Assuming that a typical healthy non-drinking woman in the general population trying to conceive has about a 25 percent chance of getting pregnant during one menstrual cycle, then out of 100 women, about 25 non-drinkers would get pregnant.” in any given cycle, about 20 moderate drinkers would become pregnant, and only about 11 heavy drinkers would become pregnant.’
In the study, women’s alcohol intake was measured by the number of standard drinks they consumed per week — where one drink counted as a medium glass of wine, just over half a pint of beer, or nearly two shots of hard liquor.
About a third of the women became pregnant, but the chance of this was estimated to be about 49 percent lower if they drank a lot during the month.
Experts believe that a hormone surge caused by alcohol makes a woman less likely to grow and produce an egg to be fertilized, without which she has no chance of having a baby.
The association between alcohol and pregnancy rates persisted even after factoring in factors such as age, weight, whether they smoked and how often they had unprotected sex.
Professor Joyce Harper, head of the Reproductive Science and Society group at University College London, pointed out that the study was small and not all of the women in it were trying to conceive.
But she said: “Unfortunately, it’s very common to drink one to two glasses a night, especially in the past year, and many women may not realize they would be considered heavy drinkers.”
Reducing alcohol consumption for men and women trying to conceive is wise advice, as a growing body of research has shown that preconception lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption can reduce fertility and have a long-lasting effect on the health of the future child. ‘