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Dear Patient Care Advocates: Is Alcohol Safe During IVF?

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Dear Patient Care Advocates:

Valentine’s Day is this Friday and I’d really like to take my wife out for a nice dinner and a glass or two of wine. The problem is, we are in the middle of our first IVF cycle and I am worried that drinking will mess up our shot at success. She has already revamped her diet to be fertility-friendly and is following a new exercise regimen. Is a glass or two of wine going to cause any harm to our cycle?


Danny in Washington, DC

Dear Danny,

These questions are very common amongst the IVF community. We invest so much into our cycles and then spend a whole lot of time worrying about the "what ifs". We worry that if we exercise too much or too little, eat too much or too little, or have one drink too many, it could lead to the cycle’s demise.

There is not much scientific research on the topic of alcohol consumption during fertility treatment, and in fact, some research says that four or more drinks per week even before the start of an IVF cycle can decrease cycle success. Some doctors say no alcohol consumption is safe during IVF while others say there is not enough evidence to conclude that a couple of glasses here or there could affect an IVF outcome (when consumed before embryo transfer).

If your wife is working with a nutritionist, she should definitely check with them and her fertility doctor before consuming any alcohol. It is probably OK to have one or two glasses for this special occasion, but to give yourself peace of mind, you should consult your fertility treatment team.

Baby Dust,

For more information on how lifestyle impacts fertility, check out this video with Dr. David Meldrum of Reproductive Partners Medical Group:

Click image to play.

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