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To expect my DH to cut back drinking to help us conceive?

43 replies

Jemimapuddleduk · 03/05/2011 09:34

Our ttc experience has felt like a long and arduous process. 10 months of nothing then 2 mc's straight after another this year (7.5 weeks and mmc at 11 weeks).
This has had a big emotional toll on me and has affected my relationship with my DH.
We are now starting to talk about ttc again. His approach is to tell me to relax, enjoy a few drinks whilst we are trying and to take up some new hobbies to take my mind off ttc.
My approach is wanting it to happen asap (we have already had 15 months of blooming up/downs and heartache). I am planning on stopping drinking totally and want him to cut back too. He has already reduced his drinking this year but it is still over the recommended weekly amounts (21 units), all socially on a weekend. He is refusing to cut back any more as he doesn't think it has an impact. In all fairness when we did conceive it was after Christmas excess etc BUT these 2 pregnancies ended in mc's.

Don't get me wrong the giving up drinking whilst we are trying will be v HARD as we are a very socialable couple and go out a lot and i love a few glasses of red wine. However i want to give the ttc my best shot.

We keep arguing about this, AIBU?

OP posts:

FabbyChic · 03/05/2011 09:37

I think you are trying too hard.

I think you should relax and just let it happen rather than putting so much emphasis on it.


chicletteeth · 03/05/2011 09:37

If he's not drinking to excess, the odd drink won't kill him.
He shouldn't binge though (more than six units in a sitting) which is what you're saying he's doing if it's all at the weekend. Two pints, or half a bottle of wine should really be his limit.

He doesn't need to give it up entirely, I wouldn't have said.

How is his diet, exercise, smoking, underwear etc....


waterrat · 03/05/2011 09:39

jemima, im so sorry you have gone through this. I'm not an expert - but I would say you should not allow yourself to get stressed over a few drinks. I am also certain you did not miscarry because of booze - tests show that miscarriages are usually chromosome abnormalities. Most people get pregnant while drunk or often not even knowing they have been drinking.

The tricky balance to get here is between staying healthy - which is important - and allowing the desire to concieve to take over your life. I think that is unhealthy.

I really do know how you feel from personal experience - but I think that the stress of focusing all of your life towards getting pregnant is not good for you or for your partner.

In ZIta Wests book about getting pregnant she says she recommends people enjoy a drink or two while TTC.....but I agree, you want to give it your best shot.

But if there is another few months, the strain of watching over him to stop him drinking will send you up the wall. Can you reach a comprimise? Say that you are happy for him to have a few drinks, but keep it under the weekly limit.

Have you been tested/ has he? If his sperm are normal, then I think you dont need to worry.


waterrat · 03/05/2011 09:40

I think your DP is right, try to enjoy life, it might take several more months - but when you get there this period in your life will be such a small part of it. I recommend zita wests book actually if you havent read it.


porcamiseria · 03/05/2011 09:42

I am so sorry, what stress. BUT I dont think drinking will have any effect on PG/MC. In fact I think it will add even more stress. clearly you CAN get PG, so (easy to say) try and relax a bit. But I think imposing a drink ban will make him and you even more stressed and wont change anything

really hope that your next PG goes better xxxxx


ChaoticAngelQueenofAnarchy · 03/05/2011 09:44

I don't think he needs to give up drink completely but if he's drinking over the 21 units a week limit it won't harm him to cut back a bit either.


chicletteeth · 03/05/2011 09:44

Crap diet can really adversely affect sperm quality!
There was a show with Christian Jessen and he took a load of rugby players who whilst physically fit, ate badly and didn't really take care of themselves in other ways.

He measure sperm quality in a few of them and it wasn't great all round, but quite bad in several of them.

He got them cut out booze (these were hard-core bingers, 10-pints in the pub after a match) and altered their diets and their sperm quality improves vastly.

Not a properly controlled study I realise, but it just goes to show that making other changes may help too.

This is in fact, if the problem is his sperm quality!

Have you been to see anybody about it?


buildabridge · 03/05/2011 09:44

Actually Fabby, that's not particularly helpful. Have you been through unexplained infertility and miscarriage? Because if not, relaxing and letting it happen is just patronising and quite hurtful actually. If you have then you should know that already...

Having been through a very similar exp to the OP, I would say don't let worrying about everything overrule your rational thinking. Enjoy yourselves sometimes, make sure overall your diet and lifestyle is balanced.


GiddyPickle · 03/05/2011 09:49

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Groovee · 03/05/2011 09:52

I went through this when trying for DS. It got to the point that DH refused to have sexual relations with me. I was devastated to say the least. Looking back now, it was because I was so stressed out about trying for a baby, and my dad was really ill and I wanted to be able to say "I'm pregnant with your 9th grandchild!" to him.

Ironically I went away for a weekend when my period was due, and got drunk, ate shellfish etc, and said to a friend I had put on weight over the weekend as my new underwear didn't fit. Turns out I was around 5 weeks pregnant and because I'd not been paying much attention and had fallen into my self pity role again without realising that the signs were there. I think when dh had told me he wouldn't sleep with me around my OV time and my dad finally getting a transplant, I started to relax within myself and it happened. (just fortunate that OV was earlier that month)


Jemimapuddleduk · 03/05/2011 09:55

Thanks for posts so far.
In terms of diet we eat very healthily, we are ex smokers but have quit (over a year ago). DH wears loose boxers etc.
In terms of quantity it is prob half a bottle of wine thurs/fri and sat plus about 8 pints that DH has over a weekend. He is point blank refusing to cut back any further.

Just as a note i didn't drink either time once pregnant so i am confident that that did not have an effect on having the mc.
I guess i am just wamting to find answers as to why is took so long to get pregnant first time round and then to have 2 mc's in a row - could it be damaged sperm, damaged eggs etc?
DH did have a sperm analysis after i had the first mc but due to timing i was already pg again by the time the results came through so the GP made a comment along the lines of 'well your wife is pregnant again so it must be ok'. When pressed my DH said the volume was higher than normal but viability lower than normal but GP said that these sort of evened themselves out. The GP did not give my DH a report so i havn't seen anything. I was hoping it may be in a bit more detail than that.
I know i may sound as though i am being slightly obsessive but it is hard when you have gone through 2 mc's and literally everyone around me (friends, family, colleagues) are reproducing left, right and centre. And yes we know more than a fair share of those annoying peope where it has been an accident - grrrr.

OP posts:

Jemimapuddleduk · 03/05/2011 10:03

Forgot to mention - yes i have the zita West book and it actually says that if you have had problems conceiving it is better to try and stop drinking completely (which i am doing).

OP posts:

FabbyChic · 03/05/2011 10:06

8 pints over the course of a weekend is not excessive.

I have had a miscarriage at 13 weeks to the poster who mentioned it.

But I do feel the more stress you put yourself under the less likelihood you have of conceiving. You clearly can conceive so that is not a problem.


waterrat · 03/05/2011 10:11

Well, I suppose if he is refusing, then it comes to a point where is it worth the battle? I think it's reasonable after a year with 2 MC to look at whether drinking is affecting his sperm count. 8 pints is on the high side I would have said.

What about saying that if you aren't pregnant in three more months he would cut down again?

I think these things have to be balanced against each other - ie. your partner needs to be happy as do you - it might be ideal if he would stop, but if that would mean he was constantly thinking about it and stressing, then it has the opposite effect.

Maybe leave it for a month or so to show you are trying to get on with other things then have a chat with him again.


squeakytoy · 03/05/2011 10:13

Jemima, putting your husband under intense pressure is going to make what should be an enjoyable thing into an arduous test and will put a strain on your relationship too.

I know it is hard, but it really is not worth wrecking your relationship for either. I do speak from personal experience too.


Highlander · 03/05/2011 10:20

He needs to address his drinking before you even think about TTC.

A parent with a drink problem is an awful mess to bring a baby into.


squeakytoy · 03/05/2011 10:21

He doesnt have a bloody drink problem! He is drinking no more or less than the average person who has a normal social life.


LyingWitchInTheWardrobe2726 · 03/05/2011 10:25

Sorry Jemima that you're having a difficult time. Does your husband actually want a child? I don't know how much drinking has an affect on being able to father one or whether he is a heavy drinker at all, but the fact that he has point blank refused to cut down would make me wonder whether the time was right.

Whatever else, you BOTH need to want to conceive a child, nothing less will do.


FreudianSlipOnACrown · 03/05/2011 10:25

IMHO a person who point blank refuses to give up or cut down excessive drinking (for a relatively short period - it's not like you're telling him NEVER to drink again is it!) has a problem with alcohol.


waterrat · 03/05/2011 10:25

he doesn't have a drink problem. I think the issue here is that he may feel that TTC has taken over both your lives and he is trying to hold on to some sense of normality. While I really sympathise with you OP I think you need to pull back a bit, because your relationship with him is also important - as is his ability to enjoy a social life.

Obviously alcohol isn't necessary to enjoy life, but if he wants to keep having a few drinks, and if he has cut down already, then I think give him a break for another few months before talking about it again.


waterrat · 03/05/2011 10:27

ahem....hold on - he has cut down., She said he has cut down a lot already - he has not 'point black refused' to give up or cut down. and his drinking is not excessive.

TTC is so stressful for the couple - give this man a break! he is not an alcoholic and Im sure the OP does not think he is.

You really need to hold on to your relationship here and miscarrying will have been deeply traumatic for you both. Please ignore the hysterical comments here.


waterrat · 03/05/2011 10:28 last point! does he want a child? What an awful thing to say about a man who has been TTC for a year and been through, with his partner, two recent miscarriages. He probably wants to try to give his wife a break from endless worrying - whether or not his decision is perfect we dont know. But people are not perfect.


FreudianSlipOnACrown · 03/05/2011 10:29

Ah I missed where it said he's already cut down a bit, sorry.

It's still over the recommended amount of units though.


SpringchickenGoldBrass · 03/05/2011 10:32

I'm sorry you are having such a rotten time, but I do agree with the posters who have pointed out that your H may feel that TTC is taking over your lives, and his drinking really doesn't sound like much of a threat to conception. WHy not agree a short break from TTC such as 3 months or so? Give yourselves a physical and mental rest from the pressure, because it's unfortunately true that serious anxiety and stress about TTC makes it less likely to happen.


LiliesandVeuve · 03/05/2011 10:35

i think you need to get some more medical advice.
The fact that you have conceived would suggest that the sperm is ok, and in my personal experience, that's the way the medical profession would look at it.
I was in the same position and they didn't even consider looking at dh's sperm.
the tests for infertility and the tests for recurrent miscarriages are different, it's not all bagged together.

I'm really sorry you have been through those miscarriages, and I can completely understand how ttc takes over.
But I think you need to concentrate on being generally healthy, physically and emotionally. Not concentrating on how a couple of drinks could affect sperm

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