Can Alcohol Consumption Impact Fertility?

imapct of alcohol on fertility

Alcohol consumption has become quite prevalent in India in the past few years. Most people who drink are those who are of reproductive age. Alcohol consumption is harmful to everyone, especially to people wanting to conceive. As April is recognized as National Alcohol Awareness Month, we need to be mindful and know everything about how the beverage is harming your body, slowly but surely. Many times, people don’t understand the adverse effects of alcohol until it is too late, and they cannot go back on their actions.

Even though alcohol consumption has become a social norm, it can also be risky for couples who want to start their journey towards parenthood. Around 17–20 percent of couples face infertility issues, and for most of them, it is due to their lifestyle choices. Suppose you or your partner drink alcohol regularly and are planning to start your family. In that case, you must keep reading to know everything about whether alcohol can impact your fertility or not. 

In a study, it was found that the fertility rate of moderate drinkers (who drink during their luteal phase and around 3-4 drinks per week) decreases by 44% in comparison to the non-drinkers.

Effects of Alcohol on Female Fertility

According to a study conducted by the NIH, around 26–41 percent of females who are undergoing fertility treatments are regular alcohol consumers. It has been seen that alcohol consumption can impact female fertility very severely.

Heavy drinking may impact a female’s fertility.

  • Alcohol may increase the production of prolactin in the body; it is responsible for the production of breast milk. This condition occurs when the pituitary gland produces more prolactin than usual, called hyperprolactinemia. This increased production of prolactin hinders the menstrual cycle, thus impacting the female’s fertility.
  • There are chances that females who drink alcohol during their pregnancy may give birth to children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FADS). Due to FADS, the children born mostly have sensory issues, and the damage is permanent in most of these cases.
  • Alcohol interrupts and changes the functioning of the ovaries, causing amenorrhea and anovulation.
  • Alcohol consumption even plays an important role in changing hormones like LH hormone, testosterone, and estradiol, which are some of the major causes of fertility in women.

Most of the time, women are embarrassed to talk about their alcohol consumption openly, which leads to misdiagnosis and a lesser number of women getting treated. Heavy drinking and binge drinking can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and a range of other outcomes, such as premature birth and low birth weight, which can lead to disability and developmental problems for a child. It can also cause conditions that include a range of permanent issues for a child who was exposed to alcohol in the womb.

Effects of Alcohol on Male Fertility:

Research has shown that heavy use of alcohol by males leads to sexual dysfunction. In a study, it was found that 17% of males who are above the age of 18 are heavy drinkers. It was also found that out of those, 37% lived in joint families and were over 45. Heavy drinking may affect the male body by:

  • Alcohol shrinks the size of the testes, and this may lead to impotence.
  • It is known to impact the levels of testosterone, FSH, and LH in the body, which are the key reasons for sexual dysfunction in males.
  • Those who consume alcohol regularly may experience early ejaculation or even a low ejaculation rate.
  • Alcohol can even change the shape and size of healthy sperm.

In recent studies, it was found that due to regular consumption of alcohol, there are changes that occur in the DNA, which leads to issues like alcohol disorder or any inherited disorders.

Can health providers be of help?

If you are looking forward to embracing your journey towards parenthood and have been involved with alcohol regularly, then you must consult with your health provider to understand your body. Your doctors may run different tests to determine whether you may be experiencing any fertility issues due to alcohol consumption. 

Crysta IVF provides personalized treatment plans to meet the needs of individual couples and expert guidance from their experienced doctors so that you can plan your journey to pregnancy and start a family without any worries.


  Verified by Crysta IVF Fertility Experts

Meenakshi Gakhar

Meenakshi Gakhar, with her extensive 8-year background in content creation, specializes in IVF, fertility, and broader healthcare topics. She is dedicated to supporting individuals and couples on their path to parenthood, producing engaging and informative content that demystifies the intricacies of IVF treatments and reproductive health. Her work stands out for its commitment to accuracy, relevance, and compassion, always grounded in the latest healthcare research and advancements. Meenakshi's clear, accessible writing helps readers navigate the complex world of fertility and healthcare with confidence.

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