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Does Alcohol Affect Sperm

sperm motility

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.

male reproductive hormones

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.

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.

Daily alcohol consumption decreases normal sperm morphology and no correlation has been found with the amount or the duration of alcohol consumption. Exposure to ambient air pollution has been clearly linked to adverse reproductive outcome and fecundation index, but its effects on male semen quality are still uncertain. In this study, we reviewed information from ten studies to get the qualitative evidence of the influence of the ambient air pollution on sperm quality and collected data from six of the ten studies to conduct meta-analysis. The original studies classified participants into different exposure levels and the highest and lowest expose levels were chosen as high expose and low expose groups, respectively.

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.

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.

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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 .

drinks per week

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 .

Eggert J, Theobald H, Engfeldt P. Effects of alcohol consumption on female fertility during an 18-year period. Cui X., Jing X., Wu X., Yan M. Protective effect of resveratrol on spermatozoa function in male infertility induced by excess weight and obesity. Nie Z., Qu Y., Han F., Bell E.M., Zhuang J., Chen J., François M., Lipton E., Matale R., Cui W., et al. Evaluation of interactive effects between paternal alcohol consumption and paternal socioeconomic status and environmental exposures on congenital heart defects. The differences in the study designs, and the discrepancies in the published studies, make it challenging to draw any conclusions regarding the association between the amount of alcohol consumed and the semen quality.

If you or a loved one struggle with alcohol addiction, The Recovery Village can help. The Recovery Village offers many different addiction treatment options, includingalcohol rehab, to help you lead a healthier life.Reach out to ustoday for more information. Andersen A-MN, Andersen PK, Olsen J, Grønbaek M, Strandberg-Larsen K. Moderate alcohol intake during pregnancy and risk of fetal death. Del Campo M, Jones K. A review of the physical features of the fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

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.


The random-effect model was used in the meta-analysis with the weight mean difference as the measure indicator. In conclusion, although the differences are not statistically significant between the two groups, the overall trends and evidence from this review indicate the chronic exposure to ambient pollutants at high level may alter men sperm quality. Discontinuation of all these habits should be suggested in all patients undergoing investigation for infertility in order to provide the best outcomes, although little is known in regards to the time needed for cessation of negative effects. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine in 2012 stated that “semen parameters and results of sperm function tests are 22% poorer in smokers than in nonsmokers and the effects are dose-dependent” . More recently, a meta-analysis study on a grand total of 5865 subjects has concluded that moderate and heavy smokers are more likely to have reduced sperm count and motility .

  • Grover S, Mattoo SK, Pendharkar S, Kandappan V. Sexual dysfunction in patients with alcohol and opioid dependence.
  • The nonoxidative metabolism of alcohol is minimal, but its products can have pathological and diagnostic significance.
  • 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.
  • The researchers of the study relied on the assumption that ovulation took place 14 days before menstruation.
  • Furthermore, EtOH can be incorporated into phospholipids as phosphatidylethanol through a reaction catalyzed by the enzyme, phospholipase D .

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 .

The effects on children

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.

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.

sperm quality

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.

Men: moderate weekly alcohol consumption could lower sperm quality

The effects of alcohol on other forms of fertility treatments have not been well studied. One trial of 932 couples randomized to natural cycle with intracervical insemination , controlled ovarian stimulation with ICI, natural cycle with intrauterine insemination or COS with IUI examined the effects of multiple lifestyle factors . The study found that across all treatment groups, the pregnancy and live birth rates were higher in women who reported past alcohol usage than in current users or those that reported never consuming alcohol. However, this study did not further stratify alcohol usage by amount, and therefore it is difficult to extrapolate this data to form any recommendations.

Does Alcohol & Smoking affect men’s fertility and sex life?

The main concern surrounding the stages of alcoholism & jellinek curve explained 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.

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.

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.

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