There is little doubt that alcohol affects male (and female) fertility negatively. The more pertinent question is : how much alcohol is too much to threaten fertility and what damage to fertility will too much alcohol cause?
So how much is too much? Studies have shown that drinking more than four ounces of alcohol a day is bad for your reproductive system. As an example, a bottle of beer or a glass of wine contains about half an ounce of alcohol. Alcohol concentration depends largely on the kind of drink that is consumed but taking beer as a guide, 8 bottles of beer a day will give you 4 ounces of alcohol content. This is certainly going to do harm to your fertility.
Here's how alcohol actually affects male fertility :-
1. Alcoholism (excessive consumption of alcohol) raises the estrogen level in men. This will in turn interfere with his hormones and sperm development. Why? Because alcohol is a toxin that tends to kill sperm generating cells in men. Worse still, chronic alcoholism can cause atrophy in the testicles, gynecomastia and the lack of sexual interest.
2. Excessive alcohol consumption causes a disorder in the gonads resulting in changes in the structure of the testicles and decline in the T serum level. A drop in the is T serum level can cause male infertility.
3. The toxicity of excessive alcohol can reduce sperm density or sperm count. Typically the volume of a single ejaculate is 3 milliliters (sometimes reaching six milliliter per ejaculate) with 120 million sperm cells per ml. But alcohol can cause a drastic reduction in these figures. In addition, alcohol can result in abnormalities in sperm size, shape and the sperm tail. Sperm motility can also be affected negatively.
4. Excessive alcohol alters the regular oval head and a straight tail of the healthy sperm cell. This change in sperm shape can seriously compromise the viability of the spermatozoa. Also, chronic alcoholism damages the sperm morphology that often has irreversible effects.
(Note: Drinking too much alcohol can also cause impotence and liver damage)
If in doubt, do a semen analysis test to determine the state of your fertility. Sperms normally take about three months to develop. So if you want to have your sperm analyzed, you must abstain from sexual activity during this period to get a clearer and more reliable reading regarding the health and the condition of the sperm that is produced.
You don't always have to see a Urologist if you want to do semen analysis. You can save yourself a lot of money by using a laboatory technician instead. Another option is to use a semen analysis test kit which can do the job for you in the privacy of your home. You can get a good, basic information about the health of your semen and sperm.
Just like in men, alcoholism also can also affect the reproductive health of mothers too. Some of the causes are : ovarian dysfunction, amenorrhea, anovulation, luteal phase defect, hyperprolactinemia etc.
To conclude, if you are serious about getting a baby, then curbing your drinking habit is an important consideration.
Gary Toh is the owner of Ultmale.com, a site dedicated to male fertility treatment. Get free articles, tips and tricks on the related male enhancement blog