The Link between Alcohol and Fertility.

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( If you’re planning for a baby, saying no to alcohol is the safest option. Every couple wants to welcome a healthy baby, but still many of them take risks by not quitting alcohol. In women, drinking not only increases the time it takes to get pregnant, but alcohol consumption can also severely hurt the baby’s health. Men who drink often face problems such as reduced sex drive, low quality of sperm, and sometimes impotence.

There’s a strong connection between alcohol and fertility and if you think that drinking lightly has no impact on the baby, you need to think again. Research shows that even small amounts of alcohol can affect the baby’s growth and can also increase the time it takes to get pregnant.

A team of Danish researchers studied data of more than 6,000 women who were in stable relationships and were trying to conceive. It was found that only 69 percent of women were able to get pregnant. Researchers also found that heavy drinking was responsible for 18 percent decrease in fertility rate.

How alcohol can make women infertile

In women’s body, different organs are responsible for producing different hormones and some of them stimulate the ovaries. As a result, the ovaries start producing eggs which are then released to prepare the uterus for pregnancy. It’s a natural process to tell if a woman is ready for a baby or not. When alcohol enters the body, it starts affecting this entire process.

You may have heard many women saying they often miss their periods. For some of them, alcohol is the root cause of the problem as it causes a lack of ovulation, amenorrhea, and abnormality of the lining of the uterus. Alcohol also increases the risk of spontaneous abortion. Many women have also suffered due to impaired fetal growth.

How alcohol can make men infertile

Alcohol works like a poison for sperm-producing cells. It kills them and in the long run, it can destroy sperm-producing cells in men’s body. Alcohol increases estrogen levels in men and when that happens, men experience problems like erectile dysfunction, lower sex drive, low sperm count, and low sperm quality. If these cells go through continuous torture, alcohol may also lead to prostate cancer in old age.

Men’s body needs a lot of nutrients to produce sperm, but alcohol works as a barrier. Cells that produce sperm rely on the body’s capacity for absorbing nutrients. To produce sperm of good quality, the body needs antioxidants, selenium and other nutrients like zinc. Alcohol reduces the body’s natural capabilities, which means the body fails to absorb and process those essential nutrients. This imbalance in the process leads to infertility.

How to reduce the risk

First of all, one thing that you should know is there’s no such thing as light drinking or heavy drinking when it comes to fertility. We may find people arguing both for and against the idea of alcohol consumption, but the best choice, according to science, is abstaining from alcohol if you’re trying for a baby. The good thing is that people can easily recover from the harmful effects of alcohol if they stop drinking, at least for some time. Health experts believe that the body needs at least 120 days to recover from the ill effects of alcohol, to produce healthy sperm, and mature a super healthy egg.

Women who stop drinking alcohol improve their chances of giving birth to a healthy baby. Men can also contribute to a complication-free, healthy pregnancy if they abstain from alcohol to allow the body to recover from the damage caused by alcohol.

If quitting is hard, ask for help. As a couple, you and your partner can support each other. Being a responsible human being, this much you should do for your baby’s health and yourself.

Staff Writer; Jason Smith

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