The relationship between alcohol and infertility is commonly accepted. It is true that it has been quantified or studied more in women, as they are more susceptible to the effect of alcohol as they have a faster gastrointestinal absorption and a slower metabolisation. It has also been studied that alcohol consumption can alter hormonal regulation, cause ovulation problems and its prohibitive consumption during pregnancy is well known. But what about men?
A study was carried out at the University of Southern Denmark in which more than 1000 men took part and assessed their semen quality and hormone values and how and in what quantity they consumed alcohol. The study concluded that the higher the amount of alcohol consumed, the lower the semen quality, especially the sperm concentration. Alcohol consumption can reduce testosterone production and thus the amount of mature sperm, affecting both quality and motility.
The recommendation is to reduce or avoid alcohol intake at least 3 months before trying to conceive or undergoing Assisted Human Reproduction treatment in order to maximise the quality of the gametes. There are genetic and biological factors that we cannot modify to improve our fertility, but there are others, such as leading a healthy life, that we can and that depend solely on us.