7 December 2017
The amount of alcohol drunk by fathers-to-be can affect sperm quality and the health of a baby, according to new research.
Studies involving more than 16,000 men found that men who drank alcohol daily at moderate or high levels had worse sperm quality than men who had the occasional drink or didn’t drink at all.
Another study, which involved more than 41,000 men, showed that pregnant women who have a partner who drinks heavily are more likely to miscarry and have children with health problems. Also, pregnant women are more likely to drink and to drink more during the pregnancy if their partner is a heavy drinker.
Mothers have long been advised to not drink alcohol when trying to get pregnant and during pregnancy as alcohol can cause health problems for the baby at birth and in later life. It is still not known what level of alcohol women can safely drink without impacting on the health of their child, so the safest option for mother and baby is to avoid alcohol all together before and during pregnancy.
Now, men who want to be fathers are also advised to consider reducing how much alcohol they drink in order to give their baby the best start in life.
Fullston, T., et al., The most common vices of men can damage fertility and the health of the next generation. Journal of Endocrinology, 2017. 234(2): p. F1-F6.
McBride, N. and S. Johnson, Fathers’ Role in Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancies: Systematic Review of Human Studies. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2016. 51(2): p. 240-248.
Ricci, E., et al., Semen quality and alcohol intake: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Reprod Biomed Online, 2017. 34(1): p. 38-47