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Am J Public Health. 1994 Sep;84(9):1429-32.

Infertility in women and moderate alcohol use.

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Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115.



The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between moderate alcohol intake and fertility.


Interviews were conducted with 3833 women who recently gave birth and 1050 women from seven infertility clinics. The case subjects were categorized based on the infertility specialist's assignment of the most likely cause of infertility: ovulatory factor, tubal disease, cervical factor, endometriosis, or idiopathy. Separate logistic regression models were used to assess the relationship between alcohol use and each type of infertility, adjusted for age, infertility center, cigarette smoking, caffeine use, number of sexual partners, use of an intrauterine device (for tubal disease), and body mass index and exercise (for ovulatory factor).


We found an increase in infertility, due to ovulatory factor or endometriosis, with alcohol use. The odds ratio for ovulatory factor was 1.3 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.0, 1.7) for moderate drinkers and 1.6 (95% CI = 1.1, 2.3) for heavier drinkers, compared with nondrinkers. The risk of endometriosis was roughly 50% higher in case subjects with any alcohol intake than in control subjects (OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.1, 2.3, at moderate levels; OR = 1.5, 95% CI = 0.8, 2.7, at heavier levels).


Moderate alcohol use may contribute to the risk of specific types of infertility.

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