Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

Preconception sobriety – Is alcohol impacting your fertility?

Sorry to be the gin and tonic Grinch but going sober while trying to conceive is important for healthy fertility. We know that eggs take around 88 days to fully mature. Everything that happens in that time impacts the health of these cells so if you’re looking to support egg quality, spending 3 months dry is the way to go. We also know alcohol can mess with hormones, ovarian reserve (aka – the number of eggs left) and a healthy ovulatory cycle. If you’re having trouble getting preconception sober or staying on the wagon, start here.  

Get a wingwoman – or better yet, a wingMAN

Sticking to goals is easier if you have an accountability buddy. If you’re looking for someone to help you, your husband, partner or sperm donor makes perfect wingman. Did you know that drinking can influence the health of sperm too? Drinking has a negative impact on the sperm parameters of morphology and volume, particularly at a higher intake. Getting him involved gives you both emotional support and results in healthier sperm. 

It’s OK to fake it 

It’s hard enough to say no to yourself, let alone other people. If you’re trying to conceive and not ready to share that, try faking it. 

  • Hold a glass of wine all night
  • Opt for a sparkling water with a lemon wedge
  • Just rip it up on the dance floor and tell anyone nearby you love them and no-one will know
  • Mocktail? One is fun but it doesn’t take long to realise they’re mostly fizzy sugar-laden juices. And they’re not cheap. Hard miss.

Do it for a cause you can yell about

Raise money for a charity with your sobriety efforts. You’ll be helping out something dear to you AND you’ll look like a legend when people pester you about why you’re not drinking.  

Know yourself

Fail to plan, plan to fail. Identify your weak spots and make a plan. 

  • Nightcap lover? Replace with a fancy posh lady tea
  • Love a drink to relax? Look for something else to move you into rest, nest and digest (ahem, acupuncture)
  • Drink to socialise? Choose to gather around something different. A walk, a movie, a class… you get the picture

If you’re really struggling, it is important to seek further help. Alcohol is a known teratogenic meaning drinking into pregnancy can have serious long lasting implications on the health of your developing babe, and research shows that foetal alcohol syndrome and other alcohol-related birth defects can be prevented if women stop drinking alcohol prior to conception. Be brave enough to ask for help.

Jenna McDonald holds a Master of Reproductive Medicine and a Bachelor of Health Science, majoring in both acupuncture and Herbal Medicine. This Manly local is a surfing lover, Mumma of 2 and creator + practitioner of The Fertility Suite in Manly. Like so many, Jenna’s fertility experience was not straight forward, and it opened her eyes to the fear, anxiety and stress that can be associated with the desire for a successful pregnancy. She is committed to working together with you to reach your fertility potential. Jenna and her team  work with women and men to help make conception easier through acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.