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3.3Alcohol and female fertility

StudyPopulationOutcomesResultsCommentsStudy typeEL
Zaadstra et al. 199441489 healthy women receiving AID

Never drinkers (n = 159)
Irregular drinkers (< 10 glasses/week, n = 86)
Regular light drinkers (< 10 glasses/week, n = 206)
Regular drinkers (> 10 glasses/week, n = 38)
Fecundability hazard ratio (monthly probability of conception)Non-significant higher fecundability in

regular drinkers
Irregular drinkers: HR 1.09 (CI 0.75 to 1.57)
Regular light drinkers: HR 1.13 (0.84 to 1.52)
Regular drinkers: HR 1.18 (CI 0.73 to 1.90)
HR = hazard ratioCH2b
Jensen et al. 1998421596 cycles from 423 women planning a pregnancy;

0 units/week (n = 388)
1–5 units/week (n = 771)
6–10 units/week (n = 283)
11–15 units (n = 102)
> 15 units/week (n = 52)
Fecundability OR (odds of conception among exposed group divided by odds among those not exposed)Decreased fecundability with increased alcohol intake:

1–5 units/week: OR 0.61 (CI 0.40 to 0.93)
6–10 units/week: OR 0.55 (0.36 to 0.85)
11–15 units/week: OR 0.34 (CI 0.22 to 0.52)
> 15 units/week: OR 0.66 (CI 0.11 to 1.07)
CH2b
Olsen et al. 199743Population survey: 6630 women

Pregnancy-based survey: 4035 pregnant women:

0 drinks/month (n = 1145); 120)
8–14 drinks/month (n = 118)
15+ drinks/month (n = 41)
missing (n = 163)
Subfecundability in terms of time to pregnancyNo consistent association between alcohol intake and subfecundability

B-effect model analysis: significant association between intake of > 8 drinks/week in women:

1–7 drinks/week: B-effect 1.1 (CI 0.9 to 1.3)
> 8 drinks/week: B-effect 1.7 (CI 1.3 to 2.4)
Results adjustedCH2b
Juhl et al. 20014429844 pregnant women within first 24 weeks of pregnancy:

0 units/week (n = 3679)
0.5–2.0 units/week (n = 12429)
2.5–7.0 units/week (n = 10910)
7.5–14.0 units/week (n = 2368)
> 14.0 units/week (n = 316)
missing (n = 142)
Subfecundability in terms of time to pregnancySlightly longer time to pregnancy in non- drinkers

Modest association between high drinkers and time to pregnancy:

0 drinks/week: OR 1.18 (CI 1.12 to 1.25)
0.5–2.0 drinks/week: OR 1.00
2.5–7.0 drinks/week: OR 0.93 (CI 0.90 to 0.97)
7.5–14.0 drinks/week: OR 0.88 (CI 0.82 to 0.94)
> 14.0 drinks/week: OR 1.00 (CI 0.85 to 1.18)
ORs adjustedCH2b
Hakim et al. 19984598 healthy volunteers (536 cycles):

Non-drinkers (n = 147)
1–12 g/week (n = 168)
13–90 g/week (n = 185)
> 91 g/week (n = 36)
Rate of conceptionReduced rate of conception:

Significant negative dose relationship between conception and use of alcohol: non-drinker: OR 1.0; 1–12 g/week: OR 0.43 (CI .25 to 0.76);

13–90 g/week:

OR 0.40 (CI 0.21 to 0.77);

=/> 91 g/week:
OR 0.65 (CI 0.20 to 2.15)
ORs adjustedCH2b
Joesoef et al. 1993462817 fertile women recently delivered:

0 drinks/week (n = 1742)
1–2 drinks/week (n = 388)
3–5 drinks/week (n = 341)
>5 drinks/week (n = 346)
Mean time to pregnancyNo dose relationship

0 drinks/week: RR 1.0
1–2 drinks/week: RR 1.1 (CI0.9.0 to 1.2)
3–5 drinks/week: RR 1.0 (0.9 to 1.1)
> 5 drinks/week: RR 1.0 (CI 0.9 to 1.10
RRs adjustedCH

From: Evidence tables

Cover of Fertility
Fertility: Assessment and Treatment for People with Fertility Problems.
NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 11.
National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health (UK).
London (UK): RCOG Press; 2004 Feb.
Copyright © 2004, National Collaborating Centre for Women’s and Children’s Health.

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