Alcohol use can adversely affect a woman’s ability to conceive and successfully deliver a healthy child. Studies have shown that there is a definite correlation between overuse of alcoholic beverages and fertility problems. Drinking causes changes to occur in the hormone levels that are responsible for stimulating the reproductive functions within women.
Male performance and sperm count are compromised through excessive drinking. Several studies that were conducted in the past few decades have shown that a few drinks now and then are not likely to cause fertility issues, but the higher the alcohol intake, the lower the odds of conception. Couples who wish to begin their family and conceive a child should consider sharply decreasing or eliminating the ingestion of any alcoholic beverages. Here are the reasons why.
How alcohol affects female hormones?
Moderate to excessive alcohol use in women can result in an increase in estrogen and a decrease in the production of progesterone. Progesterone deficiencies can cause irregularities in menstrual cycles and ovulation. Estrogen dominant environments within the body can wreak havoc on the normal processes related to reproduction in females, therefore decreasing the chances of conception, or female sex hormones.
The effects of alcohol use on sexual performance and male sperm quality
Men who drink small to moderate amounts of alcohol show little or no decrease in the quality of their sperm. Those who consume alcohol in higher amounts show a notably lower quality in the sperm that are produced. Alcohol acts like a toxin in the testes and causes abnormalities in the sperm that are produced, and makes them too weak to gain access to a female egg. In addition to lowering sperm count and quality, excessive alcohol consumption in men can make it difficult to perform sexually, decreasing testosterone levels and the libido. These conditions are reversible with the cessation of alcohol consumption.
The physical impacts of alcohol that reduce fertility in women
Studies conducted in the early 1990s showed that there is an increased risk of infertility in women who consume alcohol in moderate levels (100 grams per week). The results were a small decrease in ovulation, which increased the amount of time that it, takes for women who drink moderately to become pregnant. The larger risk is for the development of endometriosis which is a thickening of the lining of the uterus. High alcohol consumption increases the risk factors for both of these conditions, while causing a higher likelihood of miscarriage during the early stages of pregnancy, or chromosomal damage to the fetus. This could result in developmental abnormalities including fetal alcohol syndrome.
An additional study which was performed in the later part of the decade supported this evidence. Additionally the study suggests that the higher the alcohol intake, the less the chances of conception. Of the women who participated in the study, conception rates for women who consumed alcohol had a more than 10 percent lower conception rate, and ovulation was decreased.
The effects of chronic or heavy drinking on the female reproductive system
According to Consumer Health Digest, women who drink an average of three or more alcoholic beverages per day have an increased likelihood of irregular menstrual cycles, early menopause, periods with no ovulation and spontaneous abortions resulting from chromosomal abnormalities in the developing fetus. This is because alcohol interferes with the normal processes of hormonal functioning within the body chemistry.
Fertility in women can be adversely affected by the moderate to extreme use of alcohol. It can interfere with the menstrual cycle hormones that are necessary to stimulate ovulation and cycles. Although research has suggested that a few occasional drinks are not likely to cause a problem with conception, it has also shown that the higher your consumption of alcohol, the less likely your chances of getting pregnant.
Couples, who are interested in conceiving and producing a healthy child should at a minimum, each lessen their alcohol intake. Eliminating alcohol increases the chances of getting pregnant. This is particularly important for women as their ability to produce quality eggs may be severely compromised by the effects of alcohol. Moderate to high alcohol use significantly interferes with the reproductive processes in a woman’s body, and in addition, can affect a man’s ability to perform sexually, and produce healthy and high quality sperm. The bottom line is that alcohol use negatively impacts fertility in women.