Does Alcohol Affect Sperm Count?



Alcohol and sperm count

When you first start trying to conceive, you typically don’t make any drastic changes to your lifestyle in order to increase your odds of getting pregnant. As the months wear unsuccessfully on, you then have stop and re-evaluate. Could something you are doing be making it harder to get pregnant? There are many things you could be doing on a day to day basis that will negatively impact your fertility and potentially harm sperm quality. Drinking alcohol is one of them.

Effects of Alcohol on Fertility

Typically, a drink or two won’t cause any major negative change in sperm quality. On the contrary, a recently published study showed that a pint of beer actually might improve conception rates. It’s when the man is drinking more alcohol than that where the negative effects on sperm health appear. In addition to reducing sexual performance and desire, excess alcohol consumption does impact sperm count and sperm morphology negatively. A recent study has shown that as the amount of daily alcohol increases, so do the negative effects on the sperm. The more a man drinks on a daily basis will result in a increased decrease in sperm count and sperm quality. For someone trying to get pregnant, this can become a big issue and a long time of actually trying, unsuccessfully, to get pregnant.





It’s not only the nightly heavy drinker that harms his sperm, studies have also shown that getting drunk also has a negative effect. Intoxication has been shown to negatively affect the overall sperm quality as well, although this is a temporary effect if the drunkenness isn’t repeated on a daily basis.  Additionally, 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. The good news is, unless long term alcoholism is the issue, a decrease in the amount of alcohol consumed to a lower level, one or two drinks at most a night, will help reverse the negative impact and allow the sperm to return to a healthy state.

Other Lifestyle Issues That Impact Sperm Health

In addition to alcohol, there are other vices that can affect sperm count.  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, and marijuana have been shown to lower 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.

  • marg

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


Last modified: December 4, 2014

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