Worried that your chances of having baby is going up in smoke because of your partners habit of smoking? Does smoking really affect the sperm count in men thus making it one of the factors for infertility? Well, it is one of the most controversial topic of modern times. There are many researches which suggest that sperm count is not affected by smoking and also, you will find so many scientists claiming that smoke can cause lower sperm count and male infertility. So, what to believe and how to understand the concept of smoking and male infertility?
In order to help you with the topic below are some key points which can help you understand the both sides of studies.
What Is Meant By ‘Low Sperm Count’?
Male sperms can result in a pregnancy if your partner has a healthy sperm count (quantity) and motility. Quantity and quality, both these attributes of a sperm are crucial for fertilization and hence pregnancy. Low sperm count essentially means that semen your male partner ejaculates contains fewer sperm than normal. Your male partner’s sperm count is considered low if you have fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen.
How Does Smoking Affect Sperm Count?
Webmd.com says that men who smoke are less fertile than men who are non-smokers. The study states that a human sperm contains protamine 1 and protamine 2, two proteins in a one-on-one relationship. However, in the sperm of men who smoke, protamine 2 gets affected thus making the sperm susceptible to DNA damage. The below lines would help understand the effects of smoking on sperm count:
The toxic substances of cigarettes affects the reproductive system of the body and it can damage the sperm or can lower the sperm count
The men who smoke also reduce their sperm quality (ejaculation volume; concentration of spermatozoa; sperm motility) to a great deal
Sperm concentration is known to have decreased by 23% in men who smoke, sperm motility was decreased by 13% and there was also some changes in the shape of sperm, which made it difficult for them to swim and attach themselves to the egg
There are few researchers who believe that like any other cells in the body, human sperm also carry a receptor for nicotine, which means they recognize and respond to nicotine and nicotine exposed sperm can significantly alter the sperm functions
There are many studies which support that first smoking reduces sperm count than overall sperm quality and finally it also stops the adhesion of the sperm to the egg, which is a vital part in the conception process
The further genetic study on this topic has revealed many other harmful aspects of smoking. The oxidants present in cigarette smoke can cause permanent genetic damage to sperm and it can also be passed on to offspring
Researchers believe that cigarette smoke is much more harmful for causing permanent genetic damage in sperm since it has no way of repairing any damage made to its genetic material
As if all of the things stated above were not bad enough, there came other reports that found that men who smoke have lower sex drives and smoking increases the risk of erectile dysfunction by about 50 per cent for men in their 30s and 40s (who said smoking was sexy?)
Recently one more study has come into focus which claims that sperm count is not affected by smoking and our life style choices. Researchers of the study have found that low sperm count of men who never smoked is similar to the man who smoked 20 cigarettes a day. So, delaying the fertility treatment for the couples in order to make the changes in their lifestyles, can actually harm them instead of helping. One other fact stated in the study was researchers did not look at the size and shape of sperm, or the quality of DNA, they just counted the sperm motility for the study.
So, perhaps, there can be a small chance that smoke will not affect your sperm count but in spite of the result of study, it’s important for men to follow a healthy lifestyle and stop smoking as most smoking-related health issues such as erectile dysfunction and other problems are caused by nicotine stimulation. These problems can be immediately reversed if the person stops smoking.
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