Data from a recent analysis published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica shed some light on how alcohol and caffeine consumption may impact fertility treatments.
There are many different fertility treatment choices available to those who want to start families. However, a person’s lifestyle choices may have an impact on how well a certain reproductive treatment method works. How coffee and alcohol impact the success rate of reproductive treatments is one topic of interest.
Researchers discovered that drinking alcohol was linked to reduced success rates for both male and female reproductive treatments. Researchers have finished a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis to further our understanding of how coffee and alcohol affect the success rates of reproductive treatments.
Nearly 27,000 people—men, women, and couples—were analysed as part of the study. There were 7 studies on caffeine use and 9 research on alcohol consumption that qualified for the meta-analysis.
Caffeine usage and the success rates of reproductive treatments did not appear to be significantly correlated, according to researchers. The results on alcohol use, however, were more significant. They discovered that drinking has a detrimental effect on the success rates of reproductive treatments.
What level of alcohol is excessive? Researchers discovered that women’s alcohol consumption of 84 grammes or more per week was connected negatively with pregnancy following IVF treatment with ICSI.
Dr. Natalie Stentz, a double board certified OB-GYN and reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist in Brighton, MA, not involved in the study, noted that: “There have been several studies that have examined the impact of alcohol use on oocyte and sperm quality, with the underlining biologic theory that alcohol use contributes to an overproduction of reactive oxygen species, causing oxidative stress and thus negatively affecting fertility. In general, and consistent with ASRM [American Society for Reproductive Medicine] guidelines, while occasional alcohol use does not appear to have a substantial impact, regular alcohol use appears to have a dose-dependent [impact] upon egg and sperm quality.”
They discovered that among men, alcohol consumption of 84 grammes or more per week was associated with lower rates of pregnancy and live births following IVF treatment with ICSI. Alcohol seems to affect the success rates of reproductive treatments for a number of reasons.
Overall, the findings of the new investigation show that drinking can have a negative impact on IVF and ICSI success rates. This holds true for both male and female alcohol use. The analyses conducted by the researchers did, however, have certain restrictions. The study can find that alcohol causes unsuccessful IVF or ICSI depending on the nature of the investigation. The results of the research could have been influenced by other elements, such as further lifestyle modifications.
Further research should examine the length of alcohol exposure because it may affect reproductive results, according to the researchers. There is a chance of confounding and the failure to account for specific circumstances, and some data depended on participant self-reporting, which raises the possibility of mistakes. There were restrictions based on the quantity and variety of studies that were accessible. Finally, because the investigation did not consider the precise sources of the alcohol or caffeine, additional factors, such as the use of artificial sweeteners or additives, might have influenced the findings. Despite the limited amount of studies on how much alcohol impacts fertility, doctors can still make recommendations based on the data.
For example, non-study author Dr. Marcy F. Maguire, FACOG, physician partner and reproductive endocrinologist with Reproductive Medicine Associates in West Orange, NJ, was not involved in the study.
“While we are certain that alcoholism negatively impacts fetal development, it is less clear whether alcohol impacts fertility. Low (1–2 drinks per week) and moderate (3–13 drinks per week) alcohol intake likely have little impact on fertility. Heavy alcohol consumption (14 drinks per week or more) has been associated with decreased fertility in men and women. Men who drink excessively may have low testosterone levels and erectile dysfunction. High levels of alcohol intake are also associated with low sperm count.”
Despite some potential limitations, the results of the current investigation contribute to the expanding body of research on how lifestyle choices affect the outcome of reproductive treatments. In order to increase their overall success rates, anyone seeking fertility therapy should collaborate closely with their doctor and other pertinent specialists.