Does Alcohol Affect Sperm

seminal fluid

Given the potentially devastating consequence of FASD, women who are pregnant, attempting to conceive, or at risk for unintended pregnancy should be screened for alcohol use. The women should also be advised against consuming any amount of alcohol, as no “safe dose” has been identified, and effects to the fetus may begin as early as immediately after implantation . Furthermore, ART should not be provided for women who are unwilling or unable to minimize their consumption of alcohol .

increasing alcohol intake
luteinizing hormone

In humans, a case study reported severe oligoasthenoteratozoospermia in an alcoholic man, which evolved into cryptozoospermia, and then azoospermia after a few years . In 2017, a meta-analysis investigated the impact of alcohol intake on semen quality by analyzing evidence from 18 cross-sectional studies . The authors concluded that daily alcohol consumption results in a worsened semen quality, particularly in terms of the semen volume and the sperm morphology.

Alcohol’s Effect on Testosterone Production

An infection is more common and likely to occur since healthy growth and development are depleted. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly 23 percent of men drank an average of eight drinks per sitting multiple times a month. Additionally, the CDC found that in an estimated 35 percent of infertility cases, both male and female factors were discovered.

Alcohol use, especially heavy drinking, can disrupt key functions of the male reproductive system, including sperm production. Muthusami K.R., Chinnaswamy P. Effect of chronic alcoholism on male fertility hormones and semen quality. Heavy alcohol consumption is reported to negatively affect human health, promote traffic accidents, and alter social behaviors, with severe repercussions for personal, social, and professional lives .

male reproductive

To learn more about how alcohol use can affect male fertility, contact an Vertava Health’ treatment specialist today. There are several different ways in which a male’s fertility may be affected by alcohol use. One way is by lowering a man’s libido, making it harder to perform or want to perform sexually. Decreased libido can lead to decreased sex, which can make it more difficult to become pregnant.

These benefits include decreased risk of stroke and diabetes, as well as decreased risk of heart disease or mortality from heart disease. In 2005, it was estimated that 26,000 deaths were prevented in the U.S. due to reductions in ischemic heart disease, diabetes and ischemic stroke because of benefits attributed to moderate alcohol consumption . However, care providers must still balance the overall risks and benefits of alcohol use when counseling their patients on their level of alcohol intake. Chronic alcohol consumption and heavy smoking have a detrimental effect on male reproductive hormones and on the quality of semen, which, in turn, will make people who are addicted impotent and sterile. The results showed sperm concentration, total sperm count and percentage of sperm with normal shape got worse the more the men drank.

‘Men should steer clear of habitual drinking’

High doses of nicotine induce a significant decrease in sperm count and motility in prepubertal and adult rats exposed to progressively increasing concentrations of nicotine . Impaired testicular function is also reflected in significantly decreased testosterone levels , although as previously suggested it’s still unclear whether these findings are valid for humans as well as rodents. More than 60% of noncommunicable diseases list smoking among their risk factors, and every year more than six million deaths result from tobacco consumption and second-hand smoke . Despite the growing body of evidence supporting its deleterious effects, smoking is still a widespread phenomenon, as proven by recent reports from the World Health Organization.

Women are more likely to abuse alcohol if they are unsuccessful in conceiving after initial infertility evaluation, so continued screening for alcohol use should be performed throughout treatment . Those women who do undergo ART should be advised to minimize their alcohol consumption prior to initiating treatment, as even moderate amounts of alcohol may decrease their chances of a successful live birth. While a moderate level of drinking does not appear to alter outcomes in men, male partners should be advised to at least avoid alcohol the week before they provide a semen sample for IVF. There is conflicting data regarding the effects of alcohol exposure in utero when there is no evidence for FASD. Studies on the effects of alcohol dependence in the human population suffer from significant limitations.

However, this effect was not reported for occasional drinkers, while the authors observed even better sperm motility in occasional drinkers than never drinkers, despite all the limitations identified in their analysis . In fact, the association between semen quality and the amount of alcohol consumed is still controversial. Surprisingly, Ricci et al. observed a positive correlation between semen volume and concentration, and moderate alcohol consumption (equal to 4–7 units/week), suggesting that a limited consumption of alcohol may improve semen quality . However, a cross-sectional study including 8344 healthy men did not report any association between low/moderate alcohol consumption and semen quality .

The main concern surrounding alcohol exposure during pregnancy often relates to well-established evidence of newborns developing a range of behavioural, physical and cognitive disabilities later in life. In June of this year, MNT reported on a study that suggested cell phones may reduce sperm quality. Healthy lifestyle choices, like a healthy diet, exercise, and sleep, play important roles in supporting your overall health and well-being. Chavarro JE, Rich-Edwards JW, Rosner BA, Willett WC. Caffeinated and alcoholic beverage intake in relation to ovulatory disorder infertility.

The participants also provided semen and blood samples so researchers could look at their sperm quality and reproductive hormones. The male partner in infertile couples should undergo a comprehensive urological assessment to identify and treat any modifiable risk factors causing fertility impairment. Infertile men are at a higher risk of harbouring and developing other diseases including malignancy and cardiovascular disease and should be screened for potential modifiable risk factors, such as hypogonadism. Sperm DNA fragmentation testing has emerged as a novel biomarker that can identify infertile men and provide information on the outcomes from assisted reproductive techniques.


The role of hormone stimulation therapy in hypergonadotropic hypogonadal or eugonadal patients is controversial and is not recommended outside of clinical trials. Furthermore, there is insufficient evidence to support the widespread use of other empirical treatments and surgical interventions in clinical practice . For the study, researchers analyzed semen samples over the course of two years to determine sperm health.

Alcohol and fertility: how much is too much?

Legacy cannot provide you with medical advice or diagnose you with any disease or condition. If you find yourself reaching for alcohol through habit or boredom, try something different. Plan an evening of bowling, get outdoors for a walk, or hit the gym rather than heading down to a bar. If you set yourself a budget, it can seriously cut down the amount of alcohol you buy in a week, and you can use the money you’ve saved for a non-alcoholic reward.

Excessive alcohol consumption has been shown to drastically reduce testosterone production and even shrink the testicles, where testosterone is produced in men. Drinking alcohol – even in moderation – can have a dramatic effect on the reproductive system. It can impact hormone production and decrease semen parameters such as sperm count, motility, morphology, and concentration.

Each additional day of binge drinking led to a further 19% decrease in the chance of conceiving. Chronic ethanol abuse causes reproductive organ failure and infertility in both humans and laboratory animals. Since sperm has a critical role in reproductive function, the objective of this unique study was to evaluate the effects of different doses of ethanol on sperm parameters, chromatin structure and apoptosis in adult mice.

The analysis of seminal fluid samples and the hormonal evaluation of 20 men with alcohol dependence syndrome revealed a significant decrease in testosterone levels, seminal fluid volume and sperm concentration in chronic alcoholics than in controls . Muthusami et al., in 2005, found in chronic alcoholics a significant increase of FSH, LH, and E2 levels, while testosterone was significantly decreased. Semen volume, sperm count, motility, and number of morphologically normal sperm were significantly decreased . In 2011 one meta-analysis including 57 studies and 29,914 subjects found a significant association between alcohol, semen volume, sperm morphology and sperm motility .

  • Studies suggest alcohol use in the preconception period can be detrimental to the health of your baby.
  • But most importantly we need to realise decisions about alcohol use during the preconception period are not the sole responsibility of women.
  • It is also important to note that the results of this study do not mean that drinking excessively during the second half of the cycle will also prevent pregnancy.

The oxford houses of north carolina Control and Prevention stated that58 percent of adult menhad at least one drink of alcohol within the past month in 2016. Further,23 percent of menhad an average ofeight drinks per sitting, multiple times in one month. Rooney KL, Domar AD. The impact of lifestyle behaviors on infertility treatment outcome.

Avalos LA, Roberts S, Kaskutas LA, Block G, Li D-K. Volume and type of alcohol during early pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage. Astley S, Grant T. Another perspective on “the effect of different alcohol drinking patterns in early to mid pregnancy on the child”s intelligence, attention, and executive function. Kesmodel US, Bertrand J, Støvring H, Skarpness B, Denny C, Mortensen EL. The effect of different alcohol drinking patterns in early to mid pregnancy on the child’s intelligence, attention, and executive function. Camargo M., Intasqui P., Bertolla R.P. Understanding the seminal plasma proteome and its role in male fertility. Hetherington L., Schneider E.K., DeKretser D., Muller C.H., Hondermarck H., Velkov T., Baker M.A. Deficiency in outer dense fiber 1 is a marker and potential driver of idiopathic male infertility.

Testosterone levels are reduced, testicles may shrink, and fertility due to a lower sperm count are highly possible effects. Plus, a man may have difficulty getting an erection, especially when intoxicated and attempting intercourse. If you desire to have children, you may want to read more about alcohol and sperm. For some men, even moderate alcohol consumption could impact their sperm health.

Alcohol and Male Fertility

Testosterone levels rose while sex hormone binding globulin fell, they found. A study also reported the women whose partners consumed ten or more drinks per week prior to conception had two to five times increased risk of miscarriage compared to those whose partners did not drink during preconception. By interfering with how the reproductive system functions, alcohol use can significantly impact both a male’s sperm production and his hormones. This, in turn, can reduce fertility and make it more difficult for a couple to become pregnant. The adverse effects of alcohol on sperm health are likely reversible, and sperm health will begin to improve with time after a period of heavy drinking. Having the occasional alcoholic drink is unlikely to significantly affect your fertility.

Effects of alcohol on male reproduction

After considering certain influential factors, the researchers found that there was no significant link between sperm quality and alcohol consumption or binge drinking in the preceding month. Men who drink as little as five units of alcohol per week, which is a moderate amount, have reduced sperm quality, according to the latest study. The more alcohol a man drinks in one day, the more likely the man is to have abnormal sperm. Stopping heavy alcohol use can improve male fertility,and another study has showna clear improvement in semen within 90 days after stopping alcohol.

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