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Alcohol and its effect on male sperm
17 Mar 2022
Alcohol and its effect on male sperm image

We all like to pour a quarter of hard stuff into our glasses after a long stressful day or how tempting it is to crack open a chilled beer hanging out with friends. However, according to current research; even a moderate weekly alcohol intake can be linked to decreased sperm quality.

Men who drink heavily regularly are at risk for a variety of fertility-related negative effects, including decreased libido and sperm count. As a result of heavy drinking, a heavy drinker may have sexual dysfunction. The more a man drinks, the more likely he is to have problems with his fertility.

What is healthy sperm?

A healthy sperm (male reproductive gamete) is the sperm that can fertilize a female gamete. The testicles in the body create sperm, which is a male reproductive cell. Sperm is essential in fertilization as it produces a human embryo.

There are tests to analyze sperm health like semen analysis. This is a test that looks at sperm quantity, size, shape, and motility, among other things.

Effects of alcohol on male fertility

  • Alcohol reduces sperm production by lowering testosterone, follicle stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone levels and increasing oestrogen levels.
  • Generating premature ejaculation or a reduction in ejaculation
  • Alcohol consumption can shrink testicles which can lead to Impotence or infertility in male.
  • Alcohol can alter a healthy sperm’s form, size, and motility.

The more alcohol a man consumes, the more likely he is to have defective sperm and other fertility issues. Lowering or eliminating drinking can dramatically enhance fertility in males who have had reproductive issues as a result of drinking. In fact, some studies have found that after 90 days of abstinence, sperm quality improves significantly.

How does alcohol affect the quality of male sperm?

Alcohol can impair sperm motility, studies have indicated that men who consume more than three and a half drinks of alcohol per day are more likely to have defective sperm.

Men who battle with alcohol usage have low sperm count, shape, and mobility, indicating that alcohol has a deleterious influence on sperm motility.

Only 12% of males who struggle with excessive drinking had normal semen in one study. None of the males in the research who consumed a lot of alcohol had normal sperm.

How to increase male fertility?

A healthy lifestyle is an important component of increasing fertility so excessive drinking, stress, anxiety, obesity, and smoking can all be detrimental to your health and fertility.

According to a new study, those who ate a healthy Mediterranean diet had better sperm quality. This was particularly true for people who ate more fruits, vegetables, seafood, and whole grains. Few tips that experts often recommend are,

Maintaining a healthy weight: According to certain studies, a decrease in sperm count and mobility is connected to an increase in body mass index (BMI).

Manage stress: Stress can impair sexual function and interfere with sperm production hormones.

Proper diet: Consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, which are high in antioxidants and may aid sperm health.

Exercise: Moderate physical activity can help protect sperm by increasing levels of strong antioxidant enzymes. 

Prevent sexually transmitted diseases: Sexually transmitted illnesses like chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause Infertility in men so Limit your sexual partners and use a condom every time you have sex to protect yourself 

Does alcohol affect fertility in females?

Women also can get severe ill effects if they are over-consuming alcohol. Studies show that women who use a lot of alcohol are more likely to experience heavy or irregular periods and have fertility issues so alcohol can also interfere with ovulation while making it difficult to conceive.

Takeaway

Male fertility is affected by heavy alcohol consumption because it affects all aspects of the male reproductive system. Alcohol can interfere with the generation of gonadotropin hormones and follicle-stimulating hormones, causing sperm damage.

  • Excess alcohol consumption not only affects the reproductive organs directly but also affects indirectly by causing damages to both hypothalamus and anterior pituitary glands. 
  • Heavy drinking might cause testosterone levels to drop.
  • Alcohol use can have an impact on sperm count, shape, and motility.
  • Reproductive health can be improved by reducing alcohol use.

You can use self-testing kits at home. These kits, on the other hand, will simply provide you with a sperm count. They don’t tell you about alternative causes of infertility, such as sperm quality or movement.
If you’re worried about your reproductive health; or want to test your sperm so it’s advisable to talk to your doctor first.

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