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Alcohol and Fertility: Is the Glass Half Full, or Half Empty?

Exploring alcohol and fertility

This Valentine’s Day, you may have reservations at a favorite restaurant … and reservations about indulging in a glass of wine. How much alcohol will interfere with your plans to get pregnant? Our fertility specialists frequently address concerns about drinking, smoking, caffeine intake and dietary choices. Should you worry about the occasional glass of wine at dinner? No. However, we do caution our fertility patients against consuming more than the occasional serving of alcohol.

Studies address alcohol and fertility


Unlike smoking, which studies conclusively link to infertility, it’s unclear how much alcohol will negatively affect a woman’s reproductive system.

• A study in Stockholm concluded that just two drinks a day significantly lowered fertility rates by 60 percent.

• Harvard concluded that moderate drinking (6 units per week) reduced a couple’s IVF success rate by 25 percent. The consumption was based on three glasses of wine per week for the female partner and a daily bottle of beer for the male partner.

In men, alcohol has been proven detrimental to sperm health. Further, excessive drinking can lead to problems achieving an erection, so it is best to drink in moderation while you are trying to conceive.

How much alcohol is too much for fertility?

Remember that the average life cycle of sperm is three months long, so decisions you make this February will affect May’s fertility treatment. Also, once you do become pregnant, alcohol can harm the baby’s health. The consensus among the six reproductive endocrinologists at Texas Fertility Center: Limit alcohol intake, especially after ovulation, and completely eliminate drinking during a cycle of IVF.

At Texas Fertility Center, we want to empower you to make good decisions without adding to your stress level. Can you have a glass of wine on special occasions? Absolutely. Are you the type to worry about it afterward? Skip the wine list and instead indulge on dessert!

For more advice on the best ways to boost fertility and risk factors, contact us at our Austin, Round Rock, San Antonio, and (soon to be open) South Austin fertility clinics, or read our patient resources here>> 

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