How Alcohol Can Affect Your Sperm Health

When it comes to pregnancy, women hear a lot about the negative impact of drinking alcohol. It’s commonly understood that women should cut down their drinking when they’re trying to conceive and stop drinking entirely once they become pregnant. What is less known is the effect alcohol has on a man’s fertility. How does alcohol affect your sperm health? Should men be concerned enough to cut back when trying to conceive a child?

  • Alcohol definitely affects male fertility. Multiple studies back up this fact. This is because alcohol consumption impacts sperm health, and the quantity and quality of sperm determines how easy it will be to conceive. Drinking heavily can lower testosterone levels and raising estrogen levels, thereby reducing sperm production. Alcohol consumption can also cause early or decreased ejaculation and alter the size and movement of sperm. If you use drugs like marijuana or opioids with alcohol, you can further lower fertility. Alcohol can also affect your overall health, raising your risk of conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, liver disease, anxiety, and depression. It can diminish your libido, making it more difficult to conceive.
  • How much you drink matters. The occasional drink won’t cause much damage, although even in moderate amounts, it can cause a loss of libido. However, heavy, consistent drinking can cause a major problem, as can binge drinking. A man who has five or more drinks is at risk of sperm damage, and having more than 14 mixed drinks in a week can affect sperm count and lower testosterone levels. It’s recommended that men have no more than four drinks in a day or 10 in a week, but one in four men drink more than this.
  • The damage is reversible. This is great news! Even if you’ve been a heavy drinker, if you stop drinking, it will only take about three months for healthy sperm production to return. To reduce your drinking, try scheduling a few days each week that are entirely alcohol free. Set limits on yourself, and when you are drinking, alternate alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic. Don’t drink without eating something, and limit how much alcohol you keep in the house. If you use alcohol to de-stress, consider finding other ways to manage your stress, like exercising or picking up a hobby.
  • A healthy lifestyle promotes fertility. The same factors that promote health in other systems of the body are important for male fertility. If you’re trying to conceive a child, exercise regularly to boost your testosterone levels. Keep your cortisol levels down by managing your stress. Get plenty of sleep, and eat a nutrient-dense diet, talking to your doctor if you have questions about your nutritional needs.

If you are struggling with fertility, because of a vasectomy or another issue, contact the Center for Vasectomy Reversal. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.