If you’re struggling with infertility, it’s best for women and men to give up alcohol and caffeine. While studies have shown that one or two drinks may not have adverse effects on your fertility, if you are already experiencing problems getting pregnant or retaining a pregnancy it makes sense to refrain from everything that may have adverse effects. Alcohol has been shown to reduce sperm quality. Male factor infertility is the primary medical issue in about 40-50% of all infertility cases. So while typically it’s been women who refrain from eating and drinking certain things, we now know it makes sense for men as well.
In addition to alcohol, you’ll want to lay off coffee. Just keep in mind these restrictions are temporary! For the best chance of success try replacing your alcohol and caffeine beverages with healthier habits. Just remember to taper off caffeine slowly to avoid withdrawal headaches.
Alcohol and Fertility
• Alcoholic drinks should be avoided by both women and men while they are trying to get pregnant.
• Women will have lowered fertility if they consume five or more alcoholic drinks weekly.
• Women who drink more than five alcoholic beverages weekly will take longer to conceive.
• Alcohol will depress the adrenal glands and slow down the release of adrenal hormones. This can directly affect libido and egg health.
• Men who consume alcohol regularly have a much lower sperm concentration and motility, plus a lesser chance of fertilization.
• Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with lower number of normal sperm count in men who have poor sperm quality.
• Alcoholic drinks contain high amounts of sugar. Excessive amounts of sugar contribute to hormonal imbalance, yeast infection, insulin resistance, lowered immunity, as well as mineral and vitamin deficiency. All of these things can affect fertility for both women and men.
Coffee and Fertility
• The liver has to convert caffeine so that it may be eliminated in your urine. Your liver also has to deal with excreting your hormones. If the liver is overworked in one area, it can’t function properly.
• Caffeine may harm sperm at a molecular level.
• Caffeine may increase the excretion of calcium. Calcium helps build strong bones and the bones of a baby.
• Coffee, in particular, is hard on your adrenal glands – your adrenal glands control your sex hormones.
• If you’re consuming coffee in a sugary beverage excess sugar causes your body to use more vitamin B during digestion and also causes a spike in insulin, which affects your endocrine/hormone system.
If you accidently imbibe caffeine or alcohol no big deal. Just start another day with the goal to be a little healthier than the day before. Any reduction in either is a potential gain for your fertility. And once you have a baby safely in your arms, game on – unless, of course, you’re worried about breast feeding.