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Jan 5, 2016 — by Larry Lipshultz

Senior man smilingMany adults regularly drink alcohol. For men that are suffering from infertility, they may wonder if the occasional or heavy consumption of alcohol can affect their ability to have children. Recent research suggests that the consumption of alcohol may impact male fertility. To learn more about male fertility and alcohol, contact our Houston, TX fertility practice today.

How Alcohol Affects Fertility

Studies have found that alcohol can affect male fertility in a number of ways:

  • The most noticeable effect of alcohol on men is erectile dysfunction. Men who drink regularly may experience problems getting an erection, especially when they are under the influence of alcohol.
  • Alcohol depletes the body of zinc, which is needed for sperm production. Zinc makes up the outer layer and tail of the sperm, and a zinc deficiency can lead to a low sperm count.
  • The body’s store of vitamin C is used to fight off the toxic effects of alcohol. This means there is less available to keep sperm from clumping together.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption overworks the liver. The liver normally works to keep estrogen levels in balance with other hormone levels. An overworked liver, however, can lead to an estrogen build up, which puts the body’s hormones out of balance. This imbalance can adversely affect the production of sperm, and can lead to other problems for men, including enlarged breasts and prostate enlargement.
  • Research has shown that alcohol can damage or deplete sperm cells. This leads to low sperm counts, reduced motility of the sperm that are produced, and abnormally shaped sperm. When allowed to continue, alcoholism can cause permanent abnormality of the sperm cells and lead to prostate damage.

When You Decide to Have a Child

When you and your partner make the decision to have a child, it is a good idea to introduce a plan to maintain a healthy reproductive system. While studies are still being conducted, alcohol affects male and female fertility, so it is a good idea to reduce alcohol consumption or avoid it completely while you are trying to conceive. Cutting out alcohol helps your body to detoxify, which helps replenish the nutrients vital to the production of normal and healthy sperm cells, and ensures optimal fertility for both partners.

Schedule a Consultation Today

If you and your partner are trying to conceive and have questions or concerns about the effects of alcohol on your fertility, contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Larry Lipshultz. The caring staff at our office is always available to help.