To some extent, everyone knows the basic effects of long-term alcoholism on men. Things like alcoholic liver disease are well documented for example and happen more in men than women.
Also, as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) lays out, it’s known that men have disproportionate issues with alcohol. Notably, higher prevalence of drinking, binge drinking and heavy alcohol use in adult men.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put it even more bluntly, simply saying that “men are more likely than women to drink excessively”.
Additionally, of the approximately 95,000 people that die from alcohol-related causes annually, 68,000 are men.
That’s largely common knowledge, what’s less often discussed though is the impact and effects of alcohol on men’s fertility, which is troubling in its own right particularly if you want to have children in the future.
What Are the Effects Alcohol Has on Men’s Fertility?
To answer the main question first, does alcohol affect men’s fertility? Yes, it unequivocally does.
Referring back to the CDC, “excessive alcohol use can interfere with testicular function and male hormone production resulting in erectile dysfunction and infertility”.
A 2017 review of compiled data delved further into this and found the following:
“Alcohol consumption in men can also cause difficulties with fertility. Some studies on long-term, heavy alcohol use have reported reduced gonadotropin release, testicular atrophy, and decreased testosterone and sperm production. Other studies of men who drink heavily have documented increases in gonadotropins and estradiol, independent of liver disease, with decreased testosterone as a consistent finding”
Adding that “a decrease in the quality of semen parameters has also been consistently documented in heavy consumers of alcohol”.
It’s worth noting that these findings were in heavy drinkers over the long-term and “the effects of low to moderate consumption of alcohol, however, do not appear to be clinically significant”.
On top of that, diminished sperm quality means potential issues related to in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the recommendation that “male partners should be advised to at least avoid alcohol the week before they provide a semen sample for IVF”.
Another study echoed all these findings, concluding that “chronic alcohol consumption has a detrimental effect on male reproductive hormones and on semen quality”.
It’s exceedingly clear; prolonged, heavy alcohol use does do considerable damage to sperm and overall fertility.
How to Get Help With an Alcohol Addiction
With alcohol being so intertwined with every part of our society and so utterly accepted, you might feel overwhelmed at the notion of quitting and unsure of how to even go about it.
That’s normal and it’s ok.
Managing your addiction isn’t something you have to fix on your own. In fact, trying to do it by yourself takes a herculean effort. Recovery is a process and a journey, one that’s best taken with the support and guidance of others.
That’s exactly what you’ll find at Valley Recovery Center in Santa Clarita, California.
When you enter our doors, the first thing that’ll happen is a thorough evaluation so we can truly understand the nature of your addiction and craft a treatment program that fits your needs.
Before embarking on that personalized alcohol rehab program, we’ll guide you through detox. This can be particularly challenging with alcohol and potentially even fatal for the heaviest of drinkers if they’re struck with delirium tremens (DTs). That’s why the safest course of action for detoxing is doing it under the professional supervision of addiction specialists like those on our staff.
From there, once the alcohol has been fully flushed from your system you’ll begin your 30-, 60, or 90-day residential treatment program that helps you work through the mental aspects of addiction and getting to the underlying causes that may have led you there.
Freedom from the shackles of alcohol is attainable and getting assistance from the right helping hand makes it easier to achieve.
Reach out to us at Valley Recovery Center to learn more about how we can help you get sober.