Alcohol and the Male Reproductive System, Mary Ann Emanuele, M.D., and Nicholas Emanuele, M.D. NIH National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Alcohol use affects all three parts of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, a system of endocrine glands and hormones involved in male reproduction. Alcohol use is associated with low testosterone and altered levels of additional reproductive hormones. Researchers are investigating several potential mechanisms for alcohol’s damage. These mechanisms are related to alcohol metabolism, alcohol-related cell damage, and other hormonal reactions associated with alcohol consumption. Chronic alcohol use in male rats also has been shown to affect their reproductive ability and the health of their offspring.
Key words: hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis; reproductive effects of AODU (alcohol and other drug use); male; reproductive system; testicles; nitric oxide; oxidation; ethanol-to-acetaldehyde metabolism; apoptosis; luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone; fertility; opioids