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Pregnancy and alcohol (influence on conception)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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There is evidence to suggest that women should avoid alcohol if they are trying to become pregnant.

A follow-up study of 430 Danish couples trying to conceive for the first time found that that 64% of women who drank five or fewer alcoholic drinks per week conceived. This compared with 55% of women with an alcohol intake of six or more alcoholic drinks per week.


  • fecundity (the ability to conceive in any one menstrual cycle) is lower in couples were the woman drinks alcohol.
  • the alcohol intake of males showed no statistical link to the couples fecundity.
  • there is a dose dependent reduction in fecundity associated with alcohol drinking.

Women who are trying to become pregnant should be informed that drinking no more than 1 or 2 units of alcohol once or twice per week and avoiding episodes of intoxication reduces the risk of harming a developing fetus (2)


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