Everyone knows that smoking has significant health hazards ranging from lung diseases to cancers. But are smoking and sperm interlinked? Yes. Smoking can negatively impact your sperm parameters and can even contribute to male infertility.
It is because smoking does not always mean infertility. However, if you look at your semen analysis results, your sperm parameters have prominent alterations due to smoking.
This article will review the relationship between smoking and sperm health and its possible impacts on male infertility.
Tobacco smoking is loaded with toxic chemicals and mutagens. They not only influence the lungs but almost all cells of your body, which include sperm. The effects of tobacco on sperm cells are well-documented. The research studies suggest the following issues with sperm health:
The total sperm count and density face a major blow due to tobacco. The toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke kill sperm cells, reducing sperm quantity and sperm concentration per ejaculate. The research shows that the sperm count of men who smoke declines by 16%, which decreases the chances of fertilization.
Tobacco destroys some enzymes responsible for the production of energy in sperm cells. The mitochondria in the midpiece of sperm become incapable of providing fuel for movement. So, the possibility of forward progression and motility of sperm diminishes.
The analysis of seminal fluid in smokers shows a deficiency of zinc. As zinc plays a crucial role in protecting sperm cells from chromatin damage, DNA fragmentation is predictable. Due to this damage to chromatin, tobacco causes poor fertilization outcomes and recurrent miscarriages.
The sperm morphology or shape of sperm deteriorates with tobacco smoking. You need to have at least 4% of structurally robust sperm cells to achieve fertilization. Smoking decreases this proportion due to head, tail, or other defects in shape.
The optimum range of seminal volumeis imperative for healthy sperm parameters. However, the semen analysis of those who smoke shows a noticeable dip in semen volume. The experts speculate that it is due to the poor performance of the prostate and other seminal glands.
Semen analysis parameters alone often do not lead to complete infertility. They may delay pregnancy until you improve your fertility levels (subfertility), but severe infertility has other reproductive abnormalities in conjunction.
Tobacco smoking alters reproductive health through hormonal and other changes.
Vaping and chewing tobacco are two different things.
Chewing tobacco eliminates the smoke and inhalation part of tobacco smoking. It also means that tobacco gets metabolized in your liver before reaching any other part of your body through blood. This method reduces the available amount of tobacco to blood but does have an impact on fertility.
The vehicle might be different, but the passengers are the same. The semen analyses of tobacco chewers show compromised sperm health because toxic chemicals still make their way to your blood.
Vaping eliminates tobacco from smoking and only keeps the nicotine part of it. The research studies about vaping and its influence on male fertility are largely inconsistent. More evidence is needed to establish a definitive conclusion, but experts advise against vaping to protect fertility.
You may speculate that eliminating tobacco chemicals should solve the problem. However, nicotine itself is also harmful. It metabolizes as cotinine in the body--a chemical substance known to cause abnormal sperm structure and motility.
Passive smoking is equally bad for male fertility. A survey shows that semen analysis testing of passive smokers shows poor sperm health in at least 50% of the population. While passive smoking, you inhale toxic smoke without nicotine. Since cigarette smoke is a critical player in the low-quality sperm parameters, the consequences are understandable.
Some studies show that those who smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day are highly likely to experience detrimental outcomes. However, experts agree that even mild smoking (less than ten cigarettes) proves damaging for semen analysis parameters.
It takes at least three months, after quitting, for sperm to regain their strength along with steps to improve sperm health.
Three months is the time new sperm production and maturation take. If you take a semen analysis test, you should see adequate healthy sperm after this duration.
The estimates show that 15% of men in America indulge in tobacco smoking. It refers to at least 34 million adults with the highest prevalence in child-bearing age. These facts prove that smoking contributes to a large proportion of the male infertility burden.