Moderate alcohol intake is linked with higher semen volume, sperm concentration, and total sperm count, according to new research published in the journal Andrology.
In the study of 323 male patients, 9.6 per cent were abstainers, 30 per cent drank fewer than 1-3 units, 30.3 per cent drank 4-7 units, and 30 per cent drank 8 units per week.
Compared with men drinking fewer than 1-3 units per week, median semen volume was higher in the group drinking between 4 and 7 units per week, as was total sperm count.
Association with sperm concentration was also significant, with a U-shaped trend in groups of alcohol intake.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Elena Ricci, of the Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, in Italy, said: ‘As regards low intake, our findings are consistent with other research. In Italy, alcohol consumption is common but usually limited to small quantities, and this applies in particular to men referring to our Infertility Clinic.’
‘Since the dose makes the poison, they are counselled to limit but not avoid alcohol.’
Several previous studies have shown that excessive alcohol consumption lowers testosterone and sperm levels – and is especially damaging for those trying to conceive, as it can reduce libido, and cause impotence.