‘Limit your drinking if you want a family,’ UCL fertility expert warns women
“Limit your alcohol consumption 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 the 14 glasses of alcohol per week, research suggests
Forget about giving up alcohol just for dry January – women trying to conceive should try to stop drinking for half of each month.
Dr. Helen O’Neill, a fertility expert from the Institute of Women’s Health at University College London, says women should stop drinking completely if they’re trying to start a family — by sticking to the plan for at least three months before getting pregnant become.
But she says an alternative tactic could work for those who refuse to give up alcohol completely.
Since there is evidence that women who drink during the last two weeks of their monthly cycle or during ovulation are less likely to become pregnant, it is recommended that women stop drinking for two weeks each month to give themselves a better chance of getting pregnant .
The women’s health researcher said, “I would tell every woman to stop drinking if they want to start a family.”
Dr. Helen O’Neill, a fertility expert from the Institute of Women’s Health at University College London, says women should stop drinking completely if they are trying to start a family
There is some evidence 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 want to should stop drinking alcohol when they’re in the luteal phase [the two weeks before a period].
“The Wine O’clock club may argue, but alcohol seems to reduce the chance of pregnancy at certain times of the month.”
Research by Hertility Health, Dr. O’Neill, looked at 122,000 women who used fertility test kits at home. It found that one-third of women trying for a baby drink more than four glasses of wine 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 to a low level.
A 2021 study led by the University of Louisville suggests that drinking during the luteal phase can disrupt hormonal events, impairing the chances of successful conception.
It found that drinking three to six drinks a week during this time was associated with a 44 percent lower chance of getting pregnant.
The research published in Hertility’s Reproductive Report also found that more than 40 percent of those trying to conceive don’t exercise regularly and 28 percent smoke.
Meanwhile, less than a third of the women surveyed were found to have a 28-day cycle, meaning couples using this time scale risk misjudging the timing of ovulation, limiting their chances of conceiving.
Dr. O’Neill said, “The healthcare system is driven by outdated data that has led to the systematic violation of women’s health needs.”