Effects of alcohol and cigarette consumption on human seminal quality

Fertil Steril. 2004 Aug;82(2):374-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2004.03.022.


Objective: To evaluate the effects of alcohol or cigarette consumption on seminal parameters in a large population of men attending an andrology laboratory.

Design: Analysis of ten years of data (1990-1999).

Setting: Andrology and Reproduction Laboratory (Córdoba, Argentina).

Patient(s): Patients (3,976) were grouped according to nonsmokers; <==20 cigarettes/day; >20 cigarettes/day; nonalcohol consumers; <==500 mL of wine ( approximately 52 g of ethanol) or equivalent/day; and >500 mL of wine or equivalent/day. Patients who drank alcohol and smoked were also considered.

Intervention(s): A questionnaire was voluntarily filled out by patients. It provided data on drug consumption and genitourinary diseases.

Main outcome measure(s): Seminal volume, sperm concentration, motility, viability, and morphology.

Results: No statistical differences in seminal parameters were found between the degrees of alcohol or tobacco consumption; so, independently of the degree of consumption patients were considered as smokers or alcohol consumers.

Conclusion(s): Alcohol or cigarette consumption did not alter the seminal parameters. Nevertheless, when the patients with these two habits were compared to those without these habits, a significant reduction in seminal volume, sperm concentration, percentage of motile spermatozoa, and a significant increase of the nonmotile viable gametes were detected. The synergic or additive effect of these two toxic habits is discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking*
  • Argentina
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Semen / chemistry
  • Semen / physiology*
  • Smoking*
  • Sperm Count*
  • Sperm Motility / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires