“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”
Ernest Hemingway

Alcohol and fertility- Is drinking too much alcohol causing infertility?

Alcohol and fertility make strange bedfellows but there is no doubting that the two are linked. Booze has been scientifically proven to negatively impact fertility in both men and women. According to Dr Patrick O’Brien, a spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: “Excessive alcohol lowers testosterone levels and sperm quality and quantity in men. It can also reduce libido and cause impotence.” It is probably obvious but if you are trying to have children then you should reduce the number of units of alcohol you are drinking.

When Olivia and I decided to give IVF treatment a try, we assumed that it would be an easy journey. We were anxious before our first try but nonchalantly approached it like any normal operation. This attitude could have been the reason that our first two IVF procedures failed. For our third try, we focused on the job at hand and made some serious changes to our lives. I am a typical Irish man so being a big drinker was normal. IVF treatment knocked the fondness for booze out of me. After much reading on alcohol and fertility, I went from being a booze hound to a teetotaller(almost, I needed the odd drink to unwind) in a matter of months.

Alcohol and fertility
Too much alcohol can affect fertility

Alcohol and fertility – How much is too much?

A mere 5 units of alcohol per week can reduce a man’s sperm quality. Alcohol has a negative compounding effect on the quality of a man’s sperm.  More alcohol consumption man’s weaker sperm. A recent open BMJ study analysed the effect of habitual alcohol consumption that’s associated with reduced semen quality. 1221 Danish men were studied. Sperm concentration, total sperm count and percentage of spermatozoa with normal morphology, were all negatively associated with habitual alcohol intake.

Alcohol and fertility – Conclusion

Even if you are not dealing with infertility, alcohol can negatively influence both male and female reproduction. I went through the infertility mill, I have learned how to increase the chances of IVF working. The first thing that I did was stop smoking. The second thing that I did was reduce alcohol consumption. If you are serious about having successful IVF treatment then you should  think about knocking booze on the head.

Further reading:





Are you struggling with infertility? Do you drink too much? Leave your comments below.


What I changed to have successful IVF Series. Part 1

How smoking affects fertility – Part 2 What I changed to have successful IVF Treatment Series




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