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Women's fertility 'not affected by moderate drinking'

HealthBy Sunday World
Women's fertility 'not affected by moderate drinking'

Moderate drinking does not appear to affect a women’s fertility, new research claims.

Researchers have analysed the alcohol drinking habits of more than 6,100 Danish women aged between 21 and 45 years old, between June 2007 and January 2016.

They found that having less than 14 "servings" a week seemed to have no discernible effect on fertility, compared with women who did not drink at all. However, the study also found that women who drank more than 14 servings a week had an 18 per cent lower chance of getting pregnant.

The study assessed overall alcohol consumption as well as intake of specific types of alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, and spirits.

Alcohol consumption was self reported and one serving of beer was measured as a 330ml bottle, while red or white wine was a 120ml glass, dessert wine was a 50ml serving and spirits were categorised as 20ml.

Each participant completed a bi-monthly questionnaire for 12 months, or until conception occurred, on alcohol use, pregnancy status, menstrual cycles, frequency of intercourse, and smoking.

While the data is based on an observational study, and the research cannot offer any firm conclusions, Annie Britton from University College London said that the results "offer some reassurances" to couples trying to conceive.

She suggests that "total abstinence may not be necessary to maximise conception rates" because "if alcohol is consumed moderately, it seems that this may not affect fertility".

"However, it would be wise to avoid binge drinking, both for the potential disruption to menstrual cycles and also for the potential harm to a baby during early pregnancy. If a couple are experiencing difficulty in conceiving, it makes sense for both partners to cut down on their alcohol intake," she said in a statement.

In Britain, the current guidance on alcohol offered by the Department of Healts says that "if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all, to keep risks to your baby to a minimum".

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