Embarking on the journey to parenthood can be both exciting yet stressful, especially for couples who are experiencing difficulties conceiving naturally. In recent years, advancements in medical science have made assisted reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilisation (IVF) more accessible and effective. However, several factors can affect the success of your IVF procedure, one of them being alcohol consumption.
How does alcohol affect fertility?
Disrupts hormone levels: Alcohol consumption can disrupt hormone levels in both men and women, potentially affecting fertility. In women, alcohol can disrupt the balance of oestrogen and progesterone hormones, which are crucial for successful conception and implantation. In men, excessive alcohol intake can lower testosterone levels and reduce sperm quality.
- Impairs ovarian function: For women undergoing IVF treatment, it is essential to have optimal ovarian function. Alcohol has been found to negatively impact ovarian function, potentially reducing egg quality and quantity.
- Increases risk of miscarriage: Consuming alcohol during pregnancy is known to increase the risk of miscarriage and birth defects. Therefore, it is recommended to abstain from alcohol when trying to conceive through IVF procedure or natural means.
Important considerations for couples undergoing IVF treatment
- Preconception period: Both partners should abstain from alcohol during the preconception period, which typically starts at least three months before the IVF cycle. This allows the body to detoxify and optimise reproductive health.
- During IVF treatment: It is crucial to avoid alcohol consumption during the entire IVF treatment process, including the stimulation phase, egg retrieval, embryo transfer, and the two-week wait for pregnancy confirmation. Alcohol can interfere with medication efficacy and overall treatment outcomes.
- Emotional well-being: Going through fertility treatments can be emotionally challenging. Some individuals may turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism. However, it's important to find healthier ways to manage stress and emotions during this time, such as engaging in regular exercise, practising relaxation techniques, or seeking support from loved ones or a mental health professional.
At Apollo Fertility, we understand that going through IVF procedures can be an emotional rollercoaster. Our dedicated team of fertility specialists is here to provide you with personalised care and support at every step of your journey.
While occasional moderate alcohol consumption may not have a significant impact on fertility or IVF success rates, it is still advisable to abstain completely during the preconception period and throughout the IVF treatment process.
It is recommended to abstain from alcohol for at least three months before starting your IVF procedure. This allows the body to eliminate toxins and optimise reproductive health.
It is beneficial for both partners to abstain from alcohol during the preconception period and throughout the IVF journey. Supporting each other in making healthy choices can positively impact your chances of success.