Pregnant women who have more than 4.5 drinks a week may have sons with lower sperm counts, according to a new study. But just a little bit of booze appears to boost sons' potency.
According to a EurekAlert press release, Danish scientists studied 347 men whose moms they'd also followed during pregnancy back in 1984-1987. They discovered that sons of women who'd had 4.5 or more drinks a week during pregnancy (a drink being 12 g of alcohol, or probably like half an actual drink you'd really get) had an average sperm concentration of 25 million per milliliter. According to the scientists, that's "rather close to the lower end of the WHO's normal range for fertility," meaning moms who drink may be affecting their own likelihood of having grandkids — another disturbing way that our consumption today may impact not just the next generation, but the one after that. The researchers caution that their study doesn't prove causation, but they speculate that fetal alcohol exposure could have long-term effects on men's testicular tissue.
And apparently, a small amount of booze can actually supercharge dudes' balls. The highest semen volume and sperm concentration were found in sons of women who drank 1 to 1.5 drinks a week in pregnancy. Scientists say this could be a reporting error, but it could also mean that "small amounts of alcohol have a beneficial effect." If this turns out to be the case, moms-to-be who feel like having one glass of wine a week will have a ready retort against judgy folks — "I'm just increasing the baby's semen volume." That should shut them up.
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