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The Effects of Alcohol on the Reproductive System

The Effects of Alcohol on the Reproductive System

For centuries, alcohol has played a big part in social gatherings because of its sedative and relaxing effects.

However, alcohol also has a reputation for causing severe damage to the body. Over time, the consumption of alcohol can disrupt the body’s normal functions and leave it more susceptible to other health problems. In both men and women, the effects of alcohol on the reproductive system can be dangerous.

Alcohol abuse breaks down some of the necessary nutrients in the body including vitamin B, zinc, sodium, potassium, and calcium.1 The body’s basic functions, like reproduction, need these nutrients to work properly. Alcohol also disrupts the other systems of the body that work together to create hormones, sperm, and other elements needed to reproduce. Health issues like infertility, hormonal problems, and sexual disorders can result from alcoholism.

At Banyan Massachusetts, we know the dangers of alcoholism and we want to help those battling with this disease receive the right treatment. With our alcohol addiction treatment, individuals will learn how to overcome their alcohol addiction and live a sober life.

The Effects of Alcohol on the Male Reproductive System

The male reproductive system is made up of the anterior pituitary gland, the testes, and the hypothalamus.2 Alcohol affects each of these parts of the male reproductive system, preventing hormonal production and other functions necessary for reproduction.

Some of the other effects of alcohol on the reproductive system include:2

  • Disruption of testosterone production
  • Reduction of testosterone levels in the blood
  • Damage to Sertoli cells, which play a role in sperm maturation
  • Testicular atrophy, or shrinkage of the testes
  • Breast enlargement
  • Loss of libido, or sexual drive
  • Reduction in sperm quantity and quality
  • Disruption to sperm motility, or their ability to move to the egg
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • High risk of contracting STD’s

To prevent these reproductive issues, individuals suffering from alcoholism can join our 12 step program and get the help they need to begin their journey to sobriety.

The Effects of Alcohol on the Female Reproductive System

The female reproductive system also takes a hit from alcohol consumption. Alcoholism affects hormonal balance and the various cycles the female body needs to go through to reproduce.

Some of the effects of alcohol on reproduction include:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Lack of menstrual cycles
  • Failure to ovulate
  • Irregular ovulation cycles
  • High risk of contracting STD’s
  • Higher risk of miscarrying
  • Early menopause

Some women might be unaware that they’ve become pregnant, and continue to drink alcohol. Drinking alcohol in the first trimester of a pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol syndrome which can cause brain damage and growth problems in the fetus.3 The effects of alcohol on the reproductive system can be scary and heartbreaking. To prevent these problems, people battling with alcoholism can be treated at our rehab center in Massachusetts.

If you or a loved one need help to recover from drug or alcohol abuse, call us now 888-280-4763.


  1. NIH- Alcohol alert
  2. NIH- Alcohol’s effects on male reproduction
  3. NIH- How does maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy affect the development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity syndrome in the child
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.