How Does Alcohol Consumption Impact Female Fertility?

Alcohol can negatively affect any part of the body when drunk in excess. It is widely known that frequently consuming drugs and alcohol can negatively impact fertility. In men, it is common knowledge that alcohol abuse causes a low sperm count. However, many women are unaware of how alcohol can impact their fertility. Things like anovulation, amenorrhea, luteal phase dysfunction, misscariage, and stillbirths can make trying to conceive difficult for those with alcohol addictions. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, potentially life threatening birth defects, and developmental delays can also affect babies born to a mother who has abused alcohol during pregnancy. It is important to mention that other drugs can cause similar fertility issues as well. Here is how alcohol consumption impacts female fertility. 

  • Anovulation 

Frequent alcohol abuse can cause Anovulation. This means that ovulation, or the release of a mature egg, does not occur during the menstrual cycle. Although experiencing anovulation occasionally can be a very normal occurrence, having anovulation for multiple months in a row is a sign of a more serious problem. In fact, this is one of the most common causes of infertility. Although this can be caused by other factors like stress and other conditions, alcohol abuse is likely the cause if these things are not present in an alcoholic. 

  • Amenorrhea

Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation. This can also be caused by an unhealthy amount of alcohol consumption. The main sign that you would see if you are experiencing amenorrhea is the lack of a period, especially if it is absent for multiple months in a row. Although many other conditions such as extreme stress and chronic conditions or diseases, alcohol consumption very well may be the cause of a lack of menstruation. This also does not apply to women who are going through menopause or have conditions like Endometriosis or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. 

  • Luteal Phase Defects 
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The luteal phase is the part of the menstrual cycle where the body builds up the endometrial lining in the uterus. Alcoholism can cause defects in the luteal phase, which can cause problems with the body building up this endometrial lining. When this lining is underdeveloped, it can prevent a fertilized egg from attaching itself to the uterus when trying to conceive. When this happens no pregnancy can take place. Like the other two above conditions, luteal phase dysfunction can also be caused by other conditions such as Endometriosis. However, if no other chronic conditions affecting the luteal phase are present, then alcohol abuse is most likely the cause of luteal phase dysfunction. 

  • Infertility 

Anovulation, amenorrhea, and luteal phase defects can all cause infertility. Although these things can be caused by other conditions and lifestyle factors, if you are abusing alcohol then that is more than likely the cause. “Many drugs can also cause similar fertility issues in both men and women. The main thing that you can do to improve your fertility is to go through a detox if you are experiencing any of these addictions.”, says Mat Gorman, CEO at Briarwood Detox Center. It is also crucial to prevent things like fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, potentially dangerous pregnancy complications, birth defects, and a stillbirth or misscarriage. 

  • Misscarriage and Stillbirth

In addition to issues with fertility,  frequent alcohol consumption can also cause a misscarriage and stillbirth. Like with experiencing other symptoms of infertility, if you frequently abuse alcohol and have experienced multiple miscarriages and/or stillbirths then alcoholism is most likely the root cause of these occurrences. Miscarriages and stillbirths can be a very traumatic experience for some people, so it is also important to prevent this to help preserve your mental health. 

  • Something Else to Consider
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There are other things to consider if you are trying to conceive while also experiencing an alcohol or drug addiction. Drugs and alcohol can both cause potentially life threatening birth defects and children born of alcoholic mothers can be affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and developmental delays. Therefore, you should go through an Austin drug rehab program if you find yourself pregnant and are not experiencing infertility. 


Frequent alcohol consumption can impact fertility in both men and women. It is often known that alcoholism can decrease sperm count, which negatively impacts male fertility. However, alcohol and drug abuse can greatly affect female fertility negatively as well. Anovulation, amenorrhea, and luteal phase dysfunction can make trying to conceive difficult. In addition to this, frequent alcohol abuse also increases the chances for a misscarriage or stillbirth. This can also make trying to conceive a very difficult and sometimes trauma inducing experience. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, potentially dangerous birth defects, and developmental delays are also possible for successful pregnancies that take place alongside a mother’s alcoholism. For all of the above reasons, it is crucial that expectant mothers or women trying to conceive go through an alcohol detox and rehab if they have alcohol addictions. 

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