How Does Smoking Effect Fertility



It is worldwide known that smoking is harmful for health but knowing its effect on health does not stop
many people. They keep smoking one after the other in continuation, thinking it as a stress reliever. It
causes lung cancer, mouth cancer, heart disease and a range of health issues. The most important
component in the formation of cigarette is nicotine, which is highly addictive. Nicotine is noxious for
both active and passive smoker. It can damage fertility and fetus.

Effects of smoking on male fertility

It is seen that that men who smoke have reduced sperm concentration, low motility, and shapeless
sperm and damaged DNA. Cadmium and nicotine are very harmful toxins that can damage female eggs
as well as sperm in male.

Sperm concentration: Sperm Concentration or sperm count means number of sperms found in semen.
On an average, a normal count should be more than 15 million per milliliter of semen. If the sperm
count is less than 15 million then it is categorized under low sperm concentration. According to various
studies, a smoker has 23% less sperm concentration in his semen.

Sperm motility: Sperm motility is swimming and movement of sperm. Motility is an important factor of
sperm because it needs to move through the female reproductive system to fertilize the egg. The sperm
motility is categorized as 25 micrometers per second in straight line or large circular motion. If the
motility is less than 32%, then sperm has poor motility or asthenozoospermia. And a smoker has less
than 13% of sperm mobility.

Sperm morphology: the term refers to the shape of sperm. Even the shape of sperm effects fertility as
the certain kind of shape helps it to penetrate the egg. A deformed sperm will not be able to pass
through the egg to fertilize. Smoker has a larger number of oddly shaped sperm than a non-smoker.

DNA: damaged DNA sperm can cause fertility issue, issues with development and implantation of
embryo, and abnormal hormone levels. All these problems cause infertility in male smoker.

Effects of smoking on female fertility

The effect of smoking is everlasting on the health and fertility of a woman. Even after she quits smoking
the damage to her body will never be recovered or managed in the due course of time. It is seen that
smoking female have a lower rate of conceiving than nonsmoking female.

1. It raises the risk of ectopic pregnancy, where the egg is fertilized in fallopian tube instead of
uterus. The damage can cause blockage that will further prevent penetration of egg and sperm,
raising risk of infertility.

2. Smoking damages egg in ovaries during their development resulting miscarriage.

3. Smoking can harm developing fetus and adverse effect on uterine lining. This may not implant a
healthy embryo.

The above mentioned points do not effect fertility directly caused by smoking. But all these may
interrelate somehow, with each other.

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