Alcohol and Fertility

There is no question that women should not drink alcohol while they are pregnant. Even small amounts of alcohol can pose a serious health threat to a developing baby. Once a baby is born, if the mother is breastfeeding she should continue to abstain. But couples should pay serious attention to the issue of alcohol and fertility even before a woman learns that she’s pregnant, since fertility in both women and men can be affected by alcohol and can have an impact on attempts to conceive a child.

Alcohol and Fertility – How Much is Too Much?

It’s no secret that a glass of wine with dinner has been standard practice in many parts of the world for centuries with no widespread reports of serious fertility issues, so women might think it’s okay to drink a little while trying to become pregnant. One glass or wine or beer or one mixed drink generally contains half an ounce (15g) of alcohol. In most cases, one occasional drink will not have a significant effect on fertility, but problems may develop if a person drinks more. Daily consumption of four or more drinks is considered moderate alcohol abuse; eight or more drinks a day is considered alcoholism.

Alcohol and Fertility in Women

Alcohol can affect fertility in women in a number of ways. Drinking can have a disruptive effect on a woman’s menstrual cycle which can result in a woman not having her period or even anovulation, a menstrual cycle where ovulation doesn’t occur. Without ovulation, a woman cannot become pregnant. Alcohol use and abuse can also lead to abnormalities in the endometrium, the inner lining of the uterus, where a fertilized egg is implanted and then grows. Estrogen and progesterone levels, hormones which play important roles in women’s fertility, can be affected by alcohol as well. The more alcohol a woman drinks, the more serious and likely the fertility problems. The stakes get even higher if a woman continues to drink once she is pregnant. There’s an increased risk for miscarriage, impaired fetal growth and development, pre-term birth and stillbirth. The most well-known effect of alcohol use during pregnancy is a baby born with fetal alcohol syndrome, which results in irreversible mental retardation, growth deficiency, behavioral disturbances and atypical heart-shaped facial appearance. The most sensible approach is for a woman to abstain from drinking while trying to have a baby, to make sure that alcohol is not having an adverse effect on her fertility. If you are already pregnant, it is imperative to abstain from alcohol completely at least until after the baby is born and longer if you are breastfeeding.

Alcohol and Fertility in Men

Male fertility can be negatively affected by regular alcohol use and abuse. Alcohol has been linked to abnormal liver function and a rise in estrogen levels in men, which can potentially interfere with normal sperm development and hormone levels. Toxins that are found in alcohol might destroy sperm-generating cells in the testicles, affect testicular size and cause an increase in abnormally-shaped sperm, all of which could have an effect on fertility. Alcohol abuse in men has also been linked with damaged sperm and lower sperm count. Additionally, if a man is a heavy drinker or alcoholic, there is a strong possibility that he might suffer from erectile dysfunction and be unable to have successful sexual relations, which would have a secondary impact on his fertility. Most of these side effects on male fertility can be reversed if a man stops drinking. If a man is experiencing low sperm count, for example, he should refrain from drinking for at least three months (the period of time it takes sperm to develop) and then have his semen level re-tested to see if it has changed.

0
No votes yet
 

2 comments

By RebekahTanaka on 06/16/13 at 10:41 pm

I also recommend the PREGNANCY MIRACLE METHOD to get pregnant fast and naturally!

Sign in to leave a comment!

Today on JustMommies

When Your Teen Doesn’t Want to Go to College

Justin just isn't ready for college. He's not even sure if he ever wants to go to college, and tells his mom "No, not interested." What would you do if he were your child?

Baby Names from the 80s

What were you doing in the 80's? Moon-walking with Michael? Playing Pac-Man on your Atari?

P

From the Message Boards

Am I Pregnant

Today was my expected period took 3 tests. 1st postive

So my hubby and I are ttc and today would have been my expected period. Took a first response this m...

Am I Pregnant

Lack of signs?

We have been trying for a few months, and each month I have tons of signs (pulling and cramping, twi...

Trying to Conceive with Medical Assistance

OT: Wahoo!!!!!!!!!!!! X-Posted

I applied for 3 teaching jobs last Wed. I got called by one of the schools on Thurs to come in Frid...

Trying to Conceive with Medical Assistance

How long after D&C....

before you can dtd? before you can ttc? My OB's aiming to get mine over with before the end of my...

Trying to Conceive

Deos the TWW make anyone else...

an emotional train wreck?!? Every cycle so far I feel extra emotional in my TTW, idk if it's hormo...

» Check out the friendliest message board for moms and moms-to-be!