Sub-fertile men should seek help in booze

Men having trouble conceiving could help their cause by hitting the bottle – but not too hard – Italian research reveals.

In a study published in the journal Andrology, scientists led by Elena Ricci, of the Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, in Italy, report a positive correlation between sperm volume, count and motility and moderate drinking.

The researchers looked at 323 men who were referred to an infertility clinic. All quizzed on their lifestyles, including their weight, occupation and leisure choices, as well as their diet, smoking and alcohol intake.

Once all the other factors were taken into account, those with the healthiest sperm were men who consumed between four and seven standard units of liquor a week. Semen volume and contents were significantly better in this group than among those who didn’t drink at all, the group who had between one and three units a week, and those who necked eight or more.

Ricci says she is not surprised by the results.

“As regards low intake, our findings are consistent with other research,” she says.

“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.”

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