Health

Effects of Alcohol on Your Fertility

Being a parent is a big responsibility. The baby has to be the most important member of the family. Her needs, requirements and safety become a priority for both, the father and the mother. So unless you are physically and mentally ready to make those sacrifices, you should delay planning a baby. Many of the sacrifices that parents make for their children begin even before the baby is born.

One such sacrifice has to begin the moment you decide to plan a baby, and that is giving up alcohol. If you are planning to start a family or are planning to get married, you should know that your fertility is highly effected by your drinking habits.

So, if you want to be a parent soon or ever in your life, there are things that you should know. The following are the effects of alcohol on your fertility.

The Female Reproductive System

To understand how alcohol and fertility are directly proportional to each other, it is imperative to know how the Female Reproductive System functions.

The reproductive system involves three parts- the brain, the pituitary gland and ovaries. The hypothalamus in the brain, releases hormones in the blood vessels, and connect to the pituitary gland. Then the pituitary gland produces and lets out more hormones, which trigger the process of ovulation.

Heavy drinking not only directly lowers your fertility, it also seriously damages the liver. The liver plays a key role in hormonal functions of the woman’s body. It releases the hormones like oestrogen and progesterone. An excessive amount of alcohol intake effects the functioning of the liver.

Alcohols can seriously a woman’s menstrual cycle and ovulation, thus making it difficult to conceive.

Fertility and Alcohol

It is a known fact that drinking in pregnancy can cause serious damages to the foetus. And that’s not all, alcohol is unsafe not just during pregnancy but way before that as well. It can make women as well as men less fertile too. There have been many studies that prove that alcohol even if taken in small quantities can effect one’s fertility levels.

Why Alcohol is so Harmful?

We do know that the women who have more than 10 drinks in a week are less likely to get pregnant than those who don’t drink.

When are planning to start trying for a baby, you need to be in the best of your physical as well as mental state, to increase your chances of conceiving. A woman’s reproductive system is impacted, to a great extent, by alcohol. The effects grow or decrease with the amount one drinks.

Excessive drinking in women also leads to issues like heavy or irregular periods, which makes it take longer for them to conceive.

The Findings

An IVF Centre in Mumbai, recently reported that most of the women who visited the centre had fertility issues which could be linked to their drinking habits. The women, who consume alcohol on a regular basis, have a comparatively lesser chance of conceiving a baby.

Even if a heavy drinking woman abstains from drinking for some time, before getting pregnant, there are chances that she would take a longer time in conceiving and they also may reduce the chances of having a heathy baby.

You Might Already be Pregnant!

Though it is often believed that moderate drinking would not reduce the fertility rate, but if you are planning to have a baby, it becomes imperative to abstain from alcohol completely. It generally takes minimum four to six weeks for a woman to realise that she is pregnant. This means that she might be drinking while she was pregnant and could be exposing her fetus to alcohol, that too without realising it. This can really harm the baby and may even cause a miscarriage.

Therefore women who are trying to conceive are recommended a zero intake of alcohol.

It is a Long Process.

Like mentioned earlier parenting is a tough job and one has to abstain from alcohol for long. Once the baby is born, it doesn’t mean that the woman is free to get back to her drinking routine. From pre-pregnancy, to the pregnancy and then till the time a woman is breast feeding, she simply cannot give in to temptations. It not only decreases her milk production, but is extremely threatening to the baby. So unless you are ready to make changes in your lifestyle, you probably aren’t ready for a baby yet. You must, until then, put the ‘baby-plans’ on a hold.

Enjoying an occasional drink may not harm anything, but it cannot be done on a regular or daily basis. The abstain from alcohol may seem very long, but it’s not forever, and you’ll probably think it was worth it when you have your baby.

The choice is yours, ‘Its the baby or the bottle’.

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Jacque Amaya

Jacque Amaya