Alcohol and fertility

The scientific evidence about how low to moderate drinking affects a man’s fertility isn’t clear. People often have difficulty accurately reporting their alcohol consumption and it’s hard to do research that isolates alcohol as a lifestyle factor.

Alcohol has been shown to affect male and female fertility, but the level of consumption associated with risk is unclear.

Heavy drinking of alcohol reduces men’s fertility; it can cause impotence, reduce libido and affect sperm quality.

The mechanisms by which alcohol could impair fertility are unclear, but in men it can cause impotence, reduce libido and affect sperm quality.

A study of couples undergoing assisted reproductive treatment that looked at male and female alcohol consumption in the year prior to treatment as well as during treatment found both male and female alcohol consumption decreased the chance of a live, healthy baby and increased the risk of miscarriage.

So if you’re trying for a baby, the National Health & Medical Research Council recommends that men abide by the safe drinking guidelines and women don’t drink at all. It doesn’t have to be forever!

Need help to reduce or stop drinking? Visit the Australian Drug Information Network for a list of national and state services in Australia.

Want more information about what is “a standard drink”? Visit DrinkWise Australia.

Myth conception

The myth:

"Drinking affects your driving but not your fertility."

The truth:

Drinking alcohol can reduce a man's fertility.

If the male partner consumes more than 20 units of alcohol per week it takes longer for his partner to conceive.

Timing - for men Gauge your fertility potential