Saturday, 12 March 2016

Link between alcohol and fertility

Numerous studies and researches conducted worldwide clearly point towards a direct link between alcoholism and male and female infertility. Fertility is inhibited not only by heavy drinking, even binge drinking has adverse effects.

Adverse affect on Male Infertility

If you are are an alcoholic having difficulty in having a baby, you have to realize  that alcohol may be hindering  your  dream of becoming a father. Alcohol can cause reduction in sperm count  and motility, result in abnormal sperms, impotency and  loss of mechanism of action.

Drinking reduces the LH levels and FSH levels, which are the main hormones responsible for spermatogenesis. It also has direct effect on testis by reducing the spermatogenesis.

Alcohol  reduces the testosterone levels and reduces the libido by acting at various levels. 
In heavy drinkers, there can be even complete failure, leading to testicular atrophy - meaning zero sperms.

When liver is affected, it stops producing Vitamin A and symptoms like gynaecomastia ( breast development ) can be seen in addition to other feminisation symptoms.

Effect on Female Fertility

It is not only the male fertility, even the women’s fertility also has to bear the brunt of  alcoholism.  The  ovulation process, menstruation cycle  and reproductive system of women is disturbed due the hormonal imbalances, often leading to irregular periods and problems in conceiving.

In addition to the physical and medical factors, psychological factors also play a major role in pregnancy. Alcoholism  tends to cause stress in the other spouse and often is the cause of many marital problems. Stress and unhappiness in the married life is often the indirect cause of inability to conceive. So it is highly advisable to quit drinking and adopt a healthy life style, if you are planning to extend your family.

Similarly, drinking while you are pregnant is a big NO.  Alcohol  reaches the baby through placenta and needless to say it is highly toxic to the tender fetus. It will damage the child’s undeveloped liver and there are chances of undeveloped brain, other  physical deformities or even miscarriages.

Dr. Anita Mani
Infertility& Surrogacy Specialist at Gift IVF Centre


Dr. Anita Mani is a renowned infertility specialist in south India with 15 years experience in ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology). Dr. Anita has successfully set up ART hospitals in Cochin and Bangalore,  along with her spouse  Dr. S Mani, who specialises in surrogacy. She completed MRCOG, from Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologist  London, DFFP from  ART Warwick university and  worked in UK for 5 years. Dr. Anitha believes in scientific and ethical practice and is currently the director of Gift Gyno IVF centre Cochin and  Bangalore.  Apart from advanced laparoscopic surgeries, she is also an expert in various ART techniques including IVF, IUI, ICSI , donor egg / sperm  and surrogacy. Her proficiency is in genetic abnormalities and high risk pregnancies.


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