When trying to conceive, NHS and healthcare professionals often recommend that both men and women stop drinking alcohol. But is one glass of wine too much? Here’s what research has shown so far:

Alcohol affects both male and female fertility, but the level of consumption associated with risk is unclear. High levels of maternal alcohol consumption are known to be dangerous to the unborn child, but the effects at lower levels are less certain.

Drinking between one and five drinks a week can reduce a women’s chances of conceiving, and 10 drinks or more decreases the likelihood of conception even further.

In women, drinking more than one to two units a day during pregnancy, there is increased risk of low birth weight, preterm birth, and being small for gestational age.

Men’s fertility can be affected by alcohol as it lowers testosterone levels, it can cause impotence, reduce libido and affect sperm quality.

The effects of alcohol on fertility are:

  • Lowers testosterone
  • Impotence
  • Reduce libido
  • Affect sperm quality
  • Reduce chance of live birth
  • Increase risk of miscarriage
  • Increased risk of pre-term birth
  • Increased risk of low birth weigh

Image source: BBC

How much is too much?

Current general advice for people not trying to conceive is for both men and women is not to exceed 14 units per week.

Even though there is uncertainty about the effects of low levels of alcohol on fertility and pregnancy, for the reasons mentioned above, it is recommended that women trying to have a baby should not drink alcohol at all to keep health risks to the baby as low as possible.

Where can you get help?

If you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, the advice is not to drink alcohol at all

If you want to reduce or stop alcohol consumption, you can speak to your GP.

A fertility counsellor or coach trained on managing addictions can also help you.

You can also find more information at:

If you are worried about the amount of alcohol you are drinking and would like to reduce and find a healthy alternative or learn more about leading a healthy lifestyle for fertility, book a Free Fertility Coaching consultation with our awarded Nurse Consultant and NLP Coach Andreia Trigo.  Book your appointment here.

About Andreia Trigo

Andreia Trigo (RN, BSc, and MSc) is the founder of inFertile Life, multi-awarded nurse consultant, fertility coach, author and TEDx speaker.  Combining her fourteen-year medical experience, CBT, NLP and her own eighteen-year infertility journey, she has developed unique strategies to help people undergoing similar challenges achieve their reproductive goals. The Enhanced Fertility Programme is helping people worldwide and has been awarded Best Innovation in Business 2018 and E-Business of 2018. Check her out at www.infertile-life.com

Andreia Trigo
Nurse Specialist | NLP Coach of 2017 | TEDx Speaker