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Drink warning to IVF couples

21st October 2009

Fertility experts have warned couples trying to conceive a baby through IVF could harm their chances if they share the equivalent of a bottle of wine a week.

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A new study has suggested that if both partners drink six units a week - about half a bottle of wine each - their chance of a live birth is cut by a quarter.

Tony Rutherford of the British Fertility Society said: "This is further evidence to suggest that alcohol does have an impact and that those women who try for a baby should think about their lifestyle choices.”

He pointed out that as eggs and sperm take at least three months to develop, women should stop smoking, cut the amount they drink and lose weight to maximise their chances of conception.

The study at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, based on more than 2,500 couples in America, was presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in Atlanta.

It showed that women who had between one and nine units of white wine a week were 24% less likely to have a live birth and had a 23% greater chance of failed implantation of the IVF embryo. Men who drank a beer daily contributed to a 30% lower chance of a live birth and a 38% greater chance of failed implantation.

Professor Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians and chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said advice to stop drinking applied to both partners if they were having difficulty conceiving.

 

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