Drinking bad for men’s fertility

By HSC Staff Writer • Published: February 23rd, 2006
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Spending the night praying to the porcelain god is probably the least of the problems alcohol can cause.

Drinking too much can cost people careers and relationships, and for some men, even the ability to have children.

Recent studies have shown that men who drink more have lower levels of testosterone and poorer quality sperm than men who choose not to imbibe.

The researchers compared the sperm counts and testosterone levels of alcoholic men who had been drinking at least six ounces of brandy or whiskey five days a week for more than a year with those of men who usually abstain from alcohol.

The men who drank had lower sperm counts, lower testosterone levels and other abnormal reproductive problems. The alcoholics also had higher rates of erectile dysfunction. Nearly three quarters of the drinking men had this problem, while less than a tenth of the non-drinkers did.

The alcoholic men produced about half the sperm that the non-drinking men did but had nearly twice as many dead sperm. The lower sperm count and abnormalities can leave many men sterile.

Drinking isn’t all bad, though. The researchers say consuming light amounts of alcohol shouldn’t have any affect on a man’s fertility.

But men aren’t the only ones who face reproductive struggles because of drinking. Research has shown that drinking heavily impairs a woman’s fertility too.

So if you want to keep baby bottles and binkies in your future, your best bet may be to kick the bottle now.