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Men: Trying to Conceive? Go Ahead and Have a Drink; Watch the Caffeine; But No Smoking, Please

ASRM Office of Public Affairs

21 October 2014

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Honolulu, Hawaii- Researchers presenting at the 70th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine have identified interesting and somewhat surprising effects that alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco use can have on male fertility and sexual function.

A group from the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York found that infertile men who smoke tobacco are more likely to experience sexual or erectile dysfunction, but those who drink alcohol are less likely to report sexual or erectile problems.

Between 2003 and 2011, men being seen at the infertility clinic completed 753 surveys on their drinking and smoking habits and their sexual health and satisfaction.  Their average age was 35; 16% of them used tobacco and 73% used alcohol.  

By objective and subjective standards, smokers were worse off than their non-smoking counterparts.  Based on their scores on the International Index of Erectile Dysfunction, 8.4% of smokers had moderate to severe erectile dysfunction. Smokers were more likely to be unsatisfied with sex and had much less confidence than non-smokers in their ability to get and keep an erection and complete sexual intercourse.  

Drinkers reported better sexual function than teetotalers.  Men who did not consume alcohol were more likely to report deficiencies in their erections and ability to complete intercourse. However, there was no difference in sexual satisfaction reported by drinkers and non-drinkers. 

O-264  Levey et al, “Substance Use Among Infertile Men Correlates with Sexual Dysfunction”

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Date Added: 21 October 2014   Date Updated: 21 October 2014
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