How your Friday night fun may be affecting your fertility
Your drinking habits may have more of an impact on your future than you think.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18.2 percent of American women between the ages of 18-44 partake in binge drinking, described as consuming more than four alcoholic drinks in one sitting. Recently, Danish researchers sought to determine the effects of consuming such quantities of alcohol on conception.
They analyzed more than 6,000 women, aged 21-45, some heavily consuming alcohol and others not. All participants were trying to get pregnant without the use of fertility treatments. By the end of the study, 69 percent of the women were pregnant. But research confirmed that those who consumed 14 drinks or more per week were much less likely to become pregnant. Having between one and seven drinks a week did not seem to affect a woman’s ability to conceive. Alcohol type did not play a factor in fertility rates.
But be advised—your ability to get pregnant is not the only thing that may be harmed by binge drinking.
“The trouble with consuming alcohol while trying to conceive is that you need to know the difference between when you are pregnant and when you are not,” says Dr. Seth Levrant, reproductive endocrinologist at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill. “You shouldn’t drink at any stage in pregnancy, which is why we suggest you take precautions by not consuming alcohol while trying to conceive.”
The CDC states that drinking during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, which is indicated by abnormal facial features, poor coordination, hyperactive behavior, learning disabilities and other developmental and physical birth defects.
And, Dr. Levrant adds, it’s never a good idea to become pregnant when you’re drunk on alcohol instead of love.
About the Author
Holly Brenza, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator at Advocate Health Care in Downers Grove. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. In her free time, Holly enjoys reading, watching the White Sox and Blackhawks and playing with her dog, Bear and cats, Demi and Elle.