Men, Whatever You Do, Don't Raise a Glass to Trying to Have a Baby

Dudes will also want to get off the sauce when attempting to conceive
Men, Whatever You Do, Don't Raise a Glass to Trying to Have a Baby

If you’re looking for a little fertility help, you might want to hold off on toasting to being a dad one day. 

“We say to the woman, ‘You need to be careful of what you eat. You need to stop smoking. You need to be doing all these different things to improve fertility,’” Michael Golding, co-author of a new study on male alcohol use and IVF outcomes as well as an associate professor of epigenetics at Texas A&M University, explained in a press release. “We don’t say anything to the man, and that’s a mistake, because what we’re seeing here is that the couple’s odds of success with their IVF procedure are increasing simply by addressing both parents’ health habits.”

Past research indicates that men who drink regularly leading up to conception are more likely to have infants with birth defects, but had yet to look into what this meant for fertility treatments like IVF. And so, Golding and his team used male mice to model the potential outcomes — one group didn’t consume alcohol, one group regularly consumed the rodent equivalent of the legal limit and one group chronically drank one and a half times the legal limit for six weeks before IVF.

Ultimately, the more the male mice drank before providing sperm for IVF, the less likely they were to have viable pregnancies. 

“Seeing the negative effects in both the legal limit group and the group drinking at one and a half times the legal limit revealed that as alcohol dose increases, things get worse,” Golding explained. “That really surprised me. I didn’t think that it would be that cut-and-dry. That really emphasized that even very modest levels of exposure were breaking through and having an impact on conception, implantation and overall IVF pregnancy success rates.”

So pour one out not just for these male mice, but if you’re looking to conceive, so that there’s no booze in your glass to drink.

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