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Alcohol and Health

Can You Still Drink Alcohol While Trying To Conceive?

July 23, 2023
8 min read
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Written by
Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
July 23, 2023
8 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
July 23, 2023
8 min read
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
July 23, 2023
8 min read
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Reframe Content Team
July 23, 2023
8 min read

Meet Rachel and Brent, a vibrant young couple who treasure their social life almost as much as they love each other. They enjoy hosting dinner parties, attending wine tastings, and catching up with friends over a pint at their local pub. Recently, they've started discussing the exciting prospect of starting a family. However, they're unsure about how their drinking habits might affect their chances of conceiving.

Rachel, a marketing executive, enjoys a glass of wine to wind down after a busy day at work. Brent, a software engineer, often meets his colleagues for a beer after work. Both Rachel and Brent understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle when planning for a baby, but they're unsure about the role alcohol plays in this equation.

In their quest for answers, they delved into scientific research and discovered that alcohol can have a significant impact on both male and female fertility.

Alcohol’s Effects on Female Fertility

In females, alcohol affects fertility in several ways. It can cause hormonal imbalances that disrupt the menstrual cycle. The hormones involved in the menstrual cycle, such as estrogen and progesterone, are crucial for preparing the body for pregnancy. They regulate the release of the egg during ovulation and prepare the uterus for implantation. Alcohol can disrupt the delicate balance of these hormones, leading to irregular menstrual cycles and making it harder to predict ovulation.

Moreover, alcohol can lead to ovulation disorders, reducing the number of viable eggs available for fertilization. It can also interfere with the implantation process. After fertilization, the egg travels down the fallopian tube and attaches to the lining of the uterus. Alcohol can interfere with this process, making it harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus, leading to a failed pregnancy.

How Alcohol Affects Male Fertility

Alcohol can also have a significant impact on fertility in males. It can decrease testosterone levels, the hormone responsible for sperm production. Lower testosterone levels can lead to a reduced sperm count, and the quality of the sperm can also be affected. Sperm quality refers to the sperm's ability to reach and fertilize the egg, and poor quality sperm can reduce the chances of conception.

Alcohol can also cause erectile dysfunction and decrease libido, further reducing the chances of conception. It's important to note that these effects are not just limited to heavy drinking. Even moderate drinking can affect sperm quality and quantity.

Additional Considerations About Early Pregnancy

Furthermore, alcohol can have detrimental effects on the early stages of pregnancy. Even before a woman realizes she's pregnant, alcohol can harm the developing fetus. This is because alcohol passes through the placenta directly to the baby, who cannot process alcohol as well as adults can. This can lead to a range of complications known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). The effects of this condition include physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities.

One Way To Change Habits: The Reframe App

Armed with this knowledge, Rachel and Brent decided to eliminate alcohol from their lifestyle while trying to conceive. However, they found this transition challenging. Their social life often revolved around activities that included alcohol, and it was difficult to break away from these habits.

That's when they discovered the Reframe app. The personalized drink tracking feature allowed them to monitor their progress and stay motivated. The daily content and exercises provided them with practical strategies to manage social situations without relying on alcohol. They also found the community feature beneficial, where they could connect with others on a similar journey and share experiences and tips.

Over time, Rachel and Brent noticed a significant change in their drinking habits. They found other ways to relax and socialize that didn't involve alcohol. They started hosting game nights, exploring new hobbies, and even found they enjoyed their social outings just as much, if not more, without the added alcohol.

Worth It In the Long Run!

Rachel and Brent's story is a testament to the power of mindful drinking. While they initially found it challenging to change their habits, they found the support and resources they needed through the Reframe app. They realized that while they might have to go without their usual glass of wine or pint of beer for a while, it was a small sacrifice for the joy of starting a family.

Rachel and Brent's journey highlights the complex relationship between alcohol and fertility. It shows that alcohol can significantly impact fertility and early pregnancy, making it advisable to abstain from alcohol when trying to conceive. And with the right tools and support, like the Reframe app, making these lifestyle changes can be a lot easier than one might think.

Learn To Cut Back on Alcohol or Quit Drinking With Reframe!

Although it isn’t a treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Reframe app can help you cut back on drinking gradually, with the science-backed knowledge to empower you 100% of the way. Our proven program has helped millions of people around the world drink less and live more. And we want to help you get there, too!

The Reframe app equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to not only survive drinking less, but to thrive while you navigate the journey. Our daily research-backed readings teach you the neuroscience of alcohol, and our in-app Toolkit provides the resources and activities you need to navigate each challenge.

You’ll meet millions of fellow Reframers in our 24/7 Forum chat and daily Zoom check-in meetings. Receive encouragement from people worldwide who know exactly what you’re going through! You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with our licensed Reframe coaches for more personalized guidance.

Plus, we’re always introducing new features to optimize your in-app experience. We recently launched our in-app chatbot, Melody, powered by the world’s most powerful AI technology. Melody is here to help as you adjust to a life with less (or no) alcohol.

And that’s not all! Every month, we launch fun challenges, like Dry/Damp January, Mental Health May, and Outdoorsy June. You won’t want to miss out on the chance to participate alongside fellow Reframers (or solo if that’s more your thing!).

The Reframe app is free for 7 days, so you don’t have anything to lose by trying it. Are you ready to feel empowered and discover life beyond alcohol? Then download our app through the App Store or Google Play today!

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At Reframe, we do science, not stigma. We base our articles on the latest peer-reviewed research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral science. We follow the Reframe Content Creation Guidelines, to ensure that we share accurate and actionable information with our readers. This aids them in making informed decisions on their wellness journey.
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