Can I have a glass of wine?

I can’t quite remember when it became accepted wisdom that anyone trying to conceive should be cutting out alcohol entirely, or giving up all caffeine, or taking loads of vitamin supplements… When I did my first IVF cycle, the consultant did mention that smoking wasn’t a terribly good idea – but that was about it.  Of course, IVF success rates have gone up since then, but I suspect that’s more to do with advanced techniques than the fact that so many of the patients are teetotal, caffeine-free and rattling with vitamin pills.

It goes without saying that you shouldn’t drink excessive quantities of alcohol when you’re trying to conceive – or excessive amounts of caffeine – but is an occasional glass of wine really going to stop you getting pregnant? I’ve never seen any convincing evidence to show that’s the case.

I was thinking about this at a fertility support group I facilitate last night and realised that I’d only ever been to one support group where wine was offered to all the members as they arrived.  Interestingly, it was in a fertility clinic and run by a consultant who clearly didn’t think a glass of wine was going to ruin the members’ chances of getting pregnant…

If giving up alcohol and caffeine entirely makes you feel better, if you happen to prefer herbal tea and you find the vitamin pills are boosting your energy – then so much the better. But if it’s making you miserable, I’d be a bit kinder to yourself.


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