Infertility and Alcohol - Discussing the Connection
Are you wondering what the link between infertility and alcohol is?
If you read up much on some of the causes of infertility, you will more than likely come across something at some point that advises you to stay away from excessive alcohol if you are trying to conceive. Yet, what is the link between alcohol and infertility, and how much is too much?
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A note about Infertility and Alcohol - Discussing the Connection
In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.
In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.
There is a link between infertility and alcohol, but at this point it's difficult to tell how much is too much and what significant amount alcohol plays in infertility. It has been proven that chronic alcoholism can lead to malfunctions in the reproductive system. However, what is considered "chronic alcoholism" is debatable.
In general, it is assumed that a glass of wine, beer, or a mixed drink contains around 15g of absolute alcohol. That's about one half ounce. Moderate alcohol abuse is typically considered to be the consumption of 60 to 90 g of alcohol every day. That's around 4 to 6 drinks. Alcoholism, on the other hand, is the consumption of 4 ounces of alcohol per day, or about 120g. That's around 8 drinks.
Both alcoholism and alcohol abuse have been associated with hypothalmic-pituitary-ovarian dysfunction, which can result in the absence of menstruation, or amenorrhea. It can also result in luteal phase defect, lack of ovulation, and hyperprolactinemia. In addition to these causes of infertility, consuming alcohol while pregnant can result in fetal alcohol syndrome, stillbirths, pre-term births, and other birth defects.
How about the infertility and alcohol connection in males? As far as men and infertility are concerned, consuming alcohol prior to conception can interfere with sperm development and hormonal levels, both of which are important in order for conception to occur. Alcohol could possibly have an effect on the testicles' sperm-generating cells.
One study has suggested that male rats that were given alcohol 24 hours before mating had only a 50 percent chance of conceiving. There are also studies that suggest that long-term use of alcohol can result in a permanent decrease in sperm count.
Although there are definite links between decreased chances of conception and alcohol, it's unclear as to how too much alcohol is "too much" in regards to infertility. Studies on the infertility and alcohol link, for the most part, are inconsistent. Therefore, if you are planning on conceiving, then it is probably in your best interest to either abstain from alcohol altogether, or to at least cut back significantly. After all, even though the infertility and alcohol connection is not totally defined, why take a chance? Especially if you're going to need all the help you can help.
If you consume alcohol on a daily basis, then it's wise to speak to your healthcare practitioner about this. This is particularly important if you have been trying to get pregnant for at least 6 months and have been unsuccessful, as the infertility and alcohol connection could be playing a part here.
If you do abstain from alcohol, then remember that it can take 3 months for eggs to mature. Therefore, if you don't get pregnant right away after you have stopped alcohol consumption, you should certainly continue trying.
Even though in some countries the consumption of red wine and even Guinness late into the pregnancy is not only acceptable but recommended, there have been no recent studies showing that any amount of alcohol is safe when it comes to the developing fetus. For that reason, if you have already conceived, then you should try to abstain from alcohol entirely.
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