Men shouldn’t drink either.

The focus of teratogen effects on the fetus is naturally on the mother. What the mother is ingesting and taking into her system obviously has a direct impact on her baby. Considering, however, that I am a male, I wanted to know if their were any precautions I should take to make sure my sperm aren’t delivering any teratogens of their own.

It turns out that male drinking and smoking can affect the fetus in several ways. When the father consumes alcohol, it can enter the testicles through the bloodstream. From here, the alcohol can either mutate characteristics of the sperm, which can then affect embryo maturation, or be taken to the ova by the semen and expose the embryo to the drug. While not as severe as the FASD caused by the mother’s drinking, the results did show intellectual and functional problems. [Jeffery]

Likewise, smoking also affects the sperm. “The bodies of males who light up can produce free radicals, or molecules which damage cell parts and the chromosomes in sperm.” [Jeffery] Miscarriage, low birth weight, a higher death rate, and even a 30% more chance of having cancer are some of the risks that come along with the father smoking.

One thing to be noted is that all the studies were done with the father either smoking and/or drinking and the mother doing neither.

Scott Montgomery


~ by Scott Montgomery on September 3, 2009.

5 Responses to “Men shouldn’t drink either.”

  1. If a father consuming alcohol affects the fetus, what is considered a safe amount of time between him drinking and having sex (with the possibility of conception)?

  2. Very interesting – I hadn’t heard that about the risks of father’s smoking.

  3. Other than any medical reasons for fathers not to drink when planning for a child, there is also the emotional support that it can provide by sharing as much responsibily with the partner as possible. Same for smoking. It is much easier to quit smoking when people around you stop too.
    Behzad Moaddeli

  4. Thanks for this posting. As a male also, we are focusing so much on what the mother can/can’t do during conception and pregnancy, and I was beginning to feel left out! Interesting to note we aren’t left out and need to be careful ourselves. I am curious now what other factors of the father could influence a baby.

  5. Very interesting! I’m not sure if you are talking about the time of conception, or having sex while the fetus is maturing.
    Andrea Hoffman

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