Does Alcohol Abuse Kill Sperm: Fertility Facts

Fertility and alcohol abuse


When talking about fertility and alcohol, the primary focus tends to be on women rather than men – and, for good reasons too!

Drinking without any limitations can affect a female individual’s body from different aspects. For instance, it can damage their reproductive system and prompt the creation of low-quality eggs. Furthermore, consuming alcohol is considered to be related to miscarriage as well.

But, what about men? Does alcohol consumption affect their reproductive health at all? As a healthy male, do you really need to be concerned about it?

Well, yes, you definitely should.

Alcohol, even when consumed in a moderate amount, can negatively impact your sexual health massively. In addition, it also lowers the overall efficiency of your libido and leads to infertility if you don’t stop alcohol consumption instantly.

However, taking care of your alcohol addiction alone can be pretty tricky, especially if your addiction level is too high. Thus, to take care of the same, you will have to opt for inpatient drug detoxification programs.

Anyway, before we delve deeper into the treatment of alcohol detoxification, let’s learn a little about why it’s detrimental to your health.

Alcohol Consumption And Male Fertility

Social alcohol usage is pretty common throughout the world. If you drink only once a week, it won’t affect your health much. However, the same can’t be said for a heavy drinker. As per a 2015 survey, alcohol was responsible for around 35% of infertility cases.

But, how much do you need to consume before it affects your fertility?

Here’s a table that can answer your question perfectly.

Heavy Drinking Binge Drinking Pregnant Drinking Underage Drinking
Male Drinking 15 or more times per week Drinking 5 or more times within 2 hours N/A Any alcohol addiction used for people under 21
Female Drinking 8 or more times per week Drinking 4 or more times within 2 hours Any form of alcohol addiction Any alcohol addiction used for people under 21

Aside from this, consuming more than 14 mixed drinks can also affect your sperm count and lower the testosterone level of your body.

How Does Alcohol Consumption Affect Male Fertility?

Let us give you a piece of bad news before starting off.

Alcohol affects your fertility by altering the sperm size, count, shape, and motility.

In a male individual, alcohol consumption can negatively impact your reproductive ability through the following –

  • Decreasing or causing early ejaculation.
  • Shrinking the size of testes, which, in turn, can lead to infertility and impotence.
  • Lowering the overall level of testosterone in your body.
  • Altering the production of gonadotropin that affects sperm production.
  • Changing the size, shape, and movement of healthy sperm.

Combining various drugs, like opioids or marijuana, with alcohol can also lower your fertility rating to some extent. Additionally, liver disease caused by alcohol addiction can also reduce your overall sperm count massively.

However, there’s also a piece of good news for you.

The negative effects of alcohol addiction, especially on your sperm count, are reversible.

According to a study, it took only three months for a male individual to return to healthy sperm production after stopping alcohol consumption. Besides, taking various vitamins can also boost your prostate health and lead to better sperm production.

Therefore, even if you have been a heavy drinker for a prolonged period, there’s still hope for you to turn back time.

When Should You See A Doctor?

When it comes to infertility, your lifestyle, genetic problem, hormonal condition, etc., can be responsible for your problem. If you are infertile, you may experience the following issues pretty prominently –

  • The inability to smell something properly.
  • Difficulty with ejaculation.
  • Decreased sexual desire.
  • Swelling, pain, or lump in the testes.
  • Gynecomastia or abnormal growth of breasts.
  • Having difficulty maintaining an erection.
  • Ejaculating a small volume of fluid.
  • Erectile dysfunction.

If you are aged 35 or more and are experiencing these issues, make sure to see a doctor today. It might indicate some other problem related to your reproductive organ as well.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Previously, we explored different possibilities to learn if alcohol abuse is detrimental to your sperm’s health or not. Now, in this section, we will try to answer some queries that might come to your mind after a while.

Let’s begin, then.

1. Can An Alcoholic Couple Conceive?

Yes, an alcoholic couple can definitely conceive. However, the result would depend on how much they generally drink in a week. Considering the period they have been drinking, the couple might experience more than one miscarriage too.

2. How Long After Quitting Drinking Will Sperm Improve?

It’s difficult to say, really. If you are a moderate drinker, it will take your body somewhere around two to three months to improve the sperm quality. In severe cases, you will need a lot more time before the recovery period starts happening.

3. How Much Alcohol Can Affect Sperm?

Like the previous one, it will depend on your health as well. However, from a general viewpoint, if you tend to drink more than five times within two hours, it’ll affect your sperm production. Having more than 14 mixed drinks can also lead to the same result.

4. How Long Should A Man Stop Drinking Before Conceiving?

If you are thinking about conceiving, make sure to stop drinking at least six months before your plan. There is no hard and fast rule about it, though. It may not work out for you, depending on your current health condition.


So, now, we will be concluding our article. Here, we have talked about various aspects, from alcohol consumption level to when you should see a doctor.

Yes, we know. The journey has, indeed, been pretty long. Thus, if you have any queries, we will ask you to let us know about them right now. We will try to answer each and every one of them as soon as possible.

We always thrive for offering you a complete solution to any of the problems you are experiencing, especially when you or any of your loved ones are suffering from addiction issues.

So, let’s meet again in the comment section!