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Alcohol Use Hinders In-Vitro Fertilization, Study Finds

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The odds of achieving a live birth through in-virto fertilization (IVF) fell by 26 percent if either sex partner consumed four or more alcoholic drinks weekly, according to a new study.

Time magazine reported Oct. 27 that a study of more than 2,500 couples attempting IVF found that success rates fell by 16 percent if women drank and 14 percent if men drank. Wine seemed to affect IVF success the most among women, while beer drinking had the biggest negative impact among men.

Study lead author Brooke Rossi, M.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston said the research showed that even moderate drinking could impair IVF.

“There are many factors in an IVF cycle that contribute to success or failure. Most of these, patients have no control over, like age. But one thing you can control is alcohol intake,” said Rossi. “You can decrease or stop alcohol consumption, knowing that you are going to have to do it anyway if you do get pregnant and it may increase the chances of success in IVF cycle.”

The findings were presented at a recent meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

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