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Planning a Family? Watch Your Alcohol Intake.

Men who drink too much might have trouble fathering a child.Men who drink too much might have trouble fathering a child.

How much is too much? In a 2014 study, researchers found that sperm count and quality deteriorated in men who had at least 5 drinks a week. (A drink was defined as one beer, one glass of wine, or one shot of liquor.) Men who drank more than that were more likely to have problems with their sperm.

Nowadays, experts recommend a 10-14 weekly drink limit for men wishing to conceive.

Excessive alcohol intake is thought to lower a man’s testosterone levels. This hormone is essential for men’s sexual health. It drives his libido and helps his erections. It also plays a role in the production of healthy sperm. With lower testosterone levels, a man’s body can still make sperm, but not as much. And those cells might not be able to fertilize an egg that easily.

If you need help with alcohol – for any reason - don’t hesitate to reach out to a healthcare provider. Your doctor can suggest ways to cope as you change your drinking habits and refer you to specialists, if necessary.

Otherwise, keep an eye on your intake and drink in moderation. Other beverages, such as tea, coffee, and seltzer water – can be just as tasty and satisfying.

Learn more about alcohol and sex:

Alcohol and Sex

Alcohol and Women’s Sexuality

Alcohol and Unsafe Sex


Cleveland Clinic

“Drugs and Male Fertility”

(Last reviewed: September 16, 2020)

“How can I improve my chances of becoming a dad?”

(Page last reviewed: May 15, 2020)

Rethinking Drinking (National Institutes of Health)

“Tips to Try”

“Alcohol and Male Sexual Function”

“Excessive Alcohol Consumption Could Affect Sperm Count and Quality”


“Tobacco, Marijuana, and Other Drugs”

(Reviewed: May 31, 2020)