Alcohol Abuse and Fertility

We Have Notions About the Romantic Role Alcohol Plays in Conception.

As a society, we have notions about the romantic role alcohol plays in conception. In fact, when we think about making babies, drinking champagne during a candle-lit meal for two tends to come to mind. Still, there is enough well-documented evidence for us to sit up and notice that drinking during pregnancy can have an adverse effect on a developing fetus. It's probably best to give the champagne a rest.

We know that pregnant women shouldn't drink, but the fact that alcohol can harm male fertility is little known. The truth of the matter is that men who drink a lot of alcoholic beverages or engage in binge drinking, defined as four or more drinks a day, tend to have serious difficulties with their fertility. For one thing, alcoholics often have erectile dysfunction which is the inability to achieve and maintain an erection. Also, because alcohol can cause liver damage, alcoholics often have higher than normal levels of estrogen in their bodies, which has the effect of suppressing the production of sperm. In addition to these issues, alcohol abuse has been associated with inadequate functioning of the testes, reduced testosterone, abnormal sperm, lowered sperm count, and low sex drive.

Think About Cutting Back on the Amount of Alcohol You Drink.

But even if you're not a heavy drinker, you should think about cutting back on the amount of alcohol you drink. While no proper studies have been carried out on the effect of moderate alcohol consumption on male fertility, it makes sense that regular alcohol consumption could be a factor in male fertility as well. This carries more weight when one considers that there have been studies done on moderate alcohol consumption in women and the effect it has had on their fertility. Those studies show that moderate drinking, between one and five drinks a week, can impair female fertility.

As for chronic excessive alcohol intake in women, there is a proven link between this kind of drinking to problem pregnancies and menstrual disorders. In one Danish study, only sixty-one percent of women who consume one to five drinks per week were able to conceive, whereas, thirty-four percent of women who consumed ten or more drinks per week managed to conceive. Others studies show a correlation between heavy, chronic drinking to inadequate function of the ovaries, cessation of menstrual periods, irregular periods, and anovulatory menstruation. Heavy drinking can also cause early menopause, increases the risk of miscarriage, and has a negative impact on libido.

Pregnancy and menstrual disorders may occur in women who intake excessive alcohol and drugs. Addicted mothers to be should be supported in seeking alcohol and drug addiction treatment to end the cycle of dependency.

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