IVF and Alcohol Do Not Mix

98779845.jpgWhen it comes to treating infertility,especially through in vitro fertilization, or IVF, you will want to do whatever you can to increase your odds of successful conception, even by small percentage points, before you begin your treatment. After all, the purpose of IVF is to beat the odds imposed on you by nature through the miracles made possible by science. That’s why Dr. Laurence A. Jacobs encourages his patients to exercise, eat healthy, quit smoking, and lead generally healthy lifestyles before they even consider pursuing fertility treatments.

Many patients wonder whether a little bit of alcohol leading up to IVF is acceptable. Obviously, heavy alcohol consumption would be frowned upon; a nightly round of whiskey would be contrary to the healthy lifestyle necessary to increasing the chances of successful conception through IVF, most definitely. However, a glass of wine now and then is not only perfectly reasonable, but it’s actually healthy - right? As long as a woman doesn’t drink alcohol while she’s pregnant, there is nothing wrong with a glass of wine leading up to IVF treatment, is there?

IVF and alcohol simply do not mix. If you are unwilling to reduce alcohol consumption, then IVF is probably not right for you, at least not at the present time.


Most people know that consuming alcohol while pregnant is a terrible idea. However, many people do not realize that couples who are trying to conceive should minimize drinking as well - for both the male and female partner. In fact, Dr. Jacobs advises couples who are having difficulty conceiving to improve their lifestyles before they assume that they are infertile. That means eating right, achieving a healthy weight, and not drinking, smoking, or using recreational drugs.

If you are planning to undergo IVF, drinking alcohol isn’t simply frowned upon, however. Studies have conclusively shown that it will reduce your chances of successful conception.

A landmark 2009 Harvard University study showed that:

  • Women (average age, 34) who had six drinks a week before undergoing IVF were 18 percent less likely to have a baby through IVF than those who didn’t drink.
  • Men (average age, 37) who had six drinks a week before IVF therapy were 14 percent less likely to become fathers through IVF than those who didn’t drink.

An equally important 2011 study conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that “consumption of as few as four alcohol drinks per week is associated with a decrease in IVF live birth rate.” Indeed, women who drank white wine every week were at 22 percent greater risk of a failed embryo implantation than women who did not drink alcohol leading up to IVF.

An occasional glass of wine or a mixed drink is fine, but do not have one several times per week.


To learn more about IVF and alcohol consumption - and how you can increase your odds of successful conception through IVF - please contact our fertility clinic today.