Men Who Drink Alcohol May Lower Chance of IVF Success

By Lokin Cheung, Legal Assistant of the Law Office of Gregory S. Masler

Throughout history, women have been told many “Dont’s” at every stage of pregnancy. However, on January 31, 2023, in an article by Jennifer Gauntt of Texas A&M University, Ms. Gauntt holds that not only should women be prepared for pregnancy, but men should also be aware of their responsibilities in achieving a successful pregnancy.

When it comes to pregnancy, people tend to think that it is a woman’s thing. Indeed, this magic can only happen within a woman’s body, but you cannot clap with one hand. Both egg and sperm are essential parts of a precious life, the lack of healthy eggs or sperm will have unpredictable and irreversible effects on the pregnancy result, which might even affect the child’s health. But most of the time, when a result of a pregnancy or the child’s congenital goes wrong, the mother’s health and behalf are often the first to discuss. However, the latest research has found that, in fact, male behaviors also have a great impact on the success or failure of a pregnancy; men drinking alcoholic beverages before IVF sperm donation reduces the success rate of IVF.

Ms. Gauntt explained based on the research of Michael Golding (an associate professor at the School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ veterinary physiology and pharmacology department at Texas A&M University) and Alexis Roach(a Ph.D. candidate of Golding’s lab) that “… male alcohol use hinders an embryo’s ability to successfully implant in the uterus and reduces IVF embryo survival rates. The research also reveals more questions about fetal development and paternal drinking.”

How many sips will affect the pregnancy result? Ms. Gauntt explained Michael Golding’s research group didn’t provide the answer, but Ms. Gauntt mentioned that Michael Golding used a mouse model to mimic two groups of ‘fathers’ which include fathers who don’t drink any alcohol and fathers who drink legal limit alcohol. The result shows that fathers who drink have a lower success rate of the resulting pregnancy and baby.

Ms. Gauntt concludes that there is a correlation between forgoing alcohol and a higher success rate in pregnancy, which is also better for the potential father and the baby’s health. Both the man and the woman play an inescapable and important role in achieving successful IVF results, and they should be aware of the immense responsibility that comes along with bringing a life to this world. Making changes on a daily basis can significantly change pregnancy results and beyond.

Link to the article: Men who drink alcohol may lower chance of IVF success – Futurity –by Jennifer Gauntt of Texas A&M University (January 31, 2023, posted on Futurity)