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A pint of beer a day may help improve male fertility

A new study may give men an excuse to enjoy a pint of beer after work each day. Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston studied 105 men whose partners were undergoing IVF. The men, who were on average 37 years of age, completed a dietary questionnaire that included questions about alcohol intake.

The results found that there wasn’t a link between the amount of alcohol and sperm quality, quantity, or motility (movement). However, those who drank the most alcohol (at least 22 grams or 3 units – about a pint and a half), had a 57% chance of IVF resulting in a baby – twice the success rate of those who drank the least amount of alcohol (28% success rate). Surprisingly, these results didn’t appear to be linked to the men’s age or weight.

Researchers aren’t sure why drinking moderate amounts of alcohol didn’t have an adverse effect on sperm quality, quantity, or motility, and in fact increased pregnancy rates. Dr. Allan Pacey, from Sheffield University, suggested that perhaps moderate amounts of alcohol lowers men’s stress levels when undergoing IVF.

That said, men shouldn’t rush to the conclusion that they can drink as much beer as they want, when they are trying to father a child. According to lead researcher Anatte Karmon, more tests are needed to confirm the findings given that sperm could in fact be damaged from alcohol consumption in ways that aren’t detected on current tests. She said the best advice is for men to lead as healthy a lifestyle as possible when trying to conceive.

Read more about the study here and here.

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