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3 Everyday Toxins That Cause Male Infertility

alcohol and male infertility

Sometimes it’s the little things that can lead to bigger problems, such as male infertility.

“I think a lot of men are doing things in their lifestyle that will adversely affect their sperm,” says Dr. Arthur Wisot a California fertility doctor with Reproductive Partners Medical Group. He explains how everyday three toxins can cause male infertility, particularly the count and quality of sperm.

Three Everyday Toxins

  • Caffeine
    On average, American men drink four cups of coffee a day, which is one cup too many for your overall health. When it comes to fertility, excess amounts of caffeine can result in issues with sperm motility, causing the sperm to swim slower and hindering it from reaching the egg for fertilization. And that figure is a drop in the bucket when compared to the amount of caffeinated soft drinks and energy drinks consumed in the course of a day.
  • Cigarettes
    While the number of smokers in the U.S. is gradually declining, men are still smoking cigarettes more than women, and they’re doing it on a daily basis. Studies have shown that smoking can cause sperm DNA fragmentation as well as issues with sperm motility and fertilization. DNA fragmentation often leads to increased risk of miscarriage.
  • Alcohol
    According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate alcohol consumption is defined as having up to two drinks per day for men, but even moderate alcohol consumption can have an impact of male fertility. Alcohol can cause decreased sperm production (sperm count) and quality issues.

Semen Analysis

To determine the exact impact these toxins have on male fertility, a fertility doctor will recommend a semen analysis .

Because a man's sperm count and semen consistency can vary from day to day — and some conditions can also have a temporary effect — a semen analysis to determine fertility should be performed on at least two samples, at least seven days apart over a period of two to three months.

“There are a few things we look at,” explains Dr. Wisot. “One is the volume of semen; there has to be enough semen to reach the cervix. Secondly is count, the number of sperm per cc of ejaculate. The third thing is motility: the movement of the sperm. Can enough of the sperm move forward to get to where they need to get to? And the fourth thing is morphology.”


The first step is of course detox. No more morning cups of Joe, afternoon energy drinks, cigarette breaks or before bed aperitifs.

The next step is speaking with the fertility doctor about your options when it comes to conceiving.

“We need to know what the problem is and then apply a specific treatment for it,” Dr. Wisot says. “We can solve most problems with conventional treatment.”


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