Alcohol and Fertility
How Drinking May Affect Conception

Experts agree that heavy drinking can result in fertility issues.

Studies show that alcohol and fertility problems are closely related, and of course, drinking after becoming pregnant is very dangerous.


Alcohol intake while trying to conceive can cause hormone imbalance, ovulation problems and missed periods.

Drinking can also cause infertility in men.

Female issues involving alcohol and fertility:

  • Anovulation is when women either do not produce eggs or ovulate. This is much more common among older, female alcoholics.
  • Amenorrhea is the absence of a period, but not from being pregnant. Typically, this is caused from a hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian dysfunction, which results from excessive drinking.
  • Overproduction of estrogen, which results from alcohol, and can disrupt the female reproduction system.

Excessive consumption of alcohol can also negatively affect men’s chances of being fertile.

Male issues surrounding alcohol and fertility:

  • Sperm can become misshapen and also dwindle in numbers, rendering the man less potent. This is because alcohol can destroy the cells that produce sperm. It takes approximately three to four months to develop sperm, so couples having problems with fertility should contemplate holding off on any drinks for that amount of time before trying to conceive.
  • Alcohol can cause impotency.
  • Alcohol can increase the levels of estrogen in males, which can interfere with the reproduction system.

Studies have shown that alcohol decreases the chances of getting pregnant among both men and women, but the amount of consumption is the variable that causes controversy. Many wonder how much alcohol is a problem – one drink per week? A glass of wine per day?

There are three types of drinkers:

  • People who rarely drink. Studies show that this group should not have any correlation with alcohol and fertility problems.
  • People who drink heavily. Studies show that this group is often negatively affected by alcohol and can have serious fertility problems and other health issues because of it.
  • The moderate or social drinker. This is the group that has question marks. Some studies have claimed that women who drink one glass of wine a day have a higher chance of conceiving, but most other studies disagree.

When trying to conceive, consult your doctor about alcohol and fertility. If you are a social drinker and have not been able to conceive, consider giving up drinking completely and ask your partner to do the same. If you are a heavy drinker, consider asking a doctor for help quitting. There are many great resources, including Alcoholics Anonymous.

Remember that once you become pregnant, doctors suggest avoiding alcohol completely. Alcohol can have serious and even fatal consequences for your baby.

Related pages

Smoking and Fertility | Weight and Fertility | Avoid Endocrine Disruptors | Acupuncture and Fertility | Fertility Cleanse | Fertility Herbs | Fertility Diet| Luteal Phase Defect | Getting Pregnant After the Pill | Irregular Periods | Menstrual Cycle Length | Best Days to Get Pregnant | How Long to Get Pregnant? | Preconception Care |

› Alcohol and Fertility

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Subscribe to