Does Alcohol Affect Sperm Count?

Alcohol abuse can affect a person in many different ways.  There are social, mental, emotional and physical consequences to abusing any substance, whether it is an illegal and illicit drug or whether it is alcohol.  The abuse of alcohol is even thought to affect a couple’s chances of conceiving.  Alcohol can certainly impair sexual performance and desire, and can interfere with the ovulation and menstruation processes in a woman’s body.  Alcohol can even affect sperm count, lowering it, and contributing to fertility problems.

Studies bear out the idea that alcohol does affect sperm count.  One particular study, performed on male rats, suggested that rats that were given a dose of alcohol high enough to become intoxicated within 24 hours prior to mating had as much of a 50% less conception rate.  However, studies on human beings have even shown that intoxication in particular will, at least temporarily, reduce sperm count.  In addition, there is some evidence to suggest that long-term use of alcohol will lead to more permanent damage, including a permanent reduction in sperm count.

There are other vices, as well, that can affect sperm count, besides alcohol.  Smoking tobacco is thought not only to decrease the quality of a woman’s eggs, but it is thought to reduce a man’s sperm count.  Illicit drugs like cocaine, as well, have been demonstrated to affect sperm count.  Marijuana tends to have a similar affect on sperm count, and is also likely to cause a man to have more abnormal sperm.  Even caffeine, some experts suggest, can affect sperm count as much as alcohol affects sperm count.

If you have had problems with a low sperm count, your health care provider may be able to help determine the cause.  On the other hand, the cause of low sperm count is often unknown.  In many cases, avoiding alcohol and other potentially troublesome substances may be the best way to avoid affecting your sperm count.

  • marg

    s there any evidence linking alcohol/drugs to mentaly and or physically handicap births from sperm

Last modified: February 10, 2013