Say ‘NO’ to Alcohol

We all know that alcohol during pregnancy is best avoided. However, new studies suggest that its best to stay away from drinking altogether a full three months before you even try to get pregnant to lower the risk of alcohol related problems and increase your chances of conception.

So how does Alcohol Affect Fertility?

Alcohol can affect both you and your partner. Research has shown that consuming any kind of alcohol reduces your fertility by half. One study showed that women who drank less than 5 units of alcohol a week (equal to 2 standard 175ml glasses of wine) were twice as likely to get pregnant within six-months compared with those who drank more. Of course, alcohol affects each woman differently. But if you want to maximize your chances of getting pregnant, it’s best to resist temptation and give up on drinking. This is especially true, if you’ve had infertility issues in the past.

What About your Male Partner?

When you’re trying to conceive, your male partner should also limit his alcohol consumption for the simple reason that it lowers his testosterone levels and affects his sexual drive. Incidentally, studies also show that alcohol decreases sperm count and reduces the number of motile sperms. Alcohol also inhibits zinc absorption in the body. Zinc is one of the most important minerals for male fertility.

What about your Baby? 

Apart from affecting your fertility, alcohol could also have several other repercussions like miscarriage, pre-term birth and poor foetal growth and development. In fact, 30 to 40 percent of babies born to mothers who drink alcohol, either before or during pregnancy, are shown to have congenital heart defects or brain anomalies. So every time you’re tempted to say “cheers”, think twice. Remember it’s a small compromise you’re making for the health of your baby.

What if you Discover you’re Pregnant?

Unplanned pregnancies happen ever so often. If you find out that you’ve been inadvertently drinking while you’re pregnant, there’s nothing to get nervy about. Instead, make sure to stop drinking right away and take care during the next few months of your pregnancy. You will be fine. However, do be sure  to discuss this with your healthcare provider, for extra re-assurance.

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