The Negative Impact of Smoking and Sperm Health

Smoking drastically impacts sperm count, motility, and morphology.

We all know that smoking creates exceptional risks for our health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco kills up to half of its users, killing more than 8 million people every year (of which 1.2 million die from complications due to secondhand smoke). 

In both women and men, smoking has been linked to an increased risk for a host of illnesses to include heart disease, cancers, emphysema, diabetes, and a number of other health problems. Smoking and use of other tobacco products also negatively impact your lungs, general health, and damages your reproductive system. 

Smoking not only takes a toll on your sperm health, but it also directly impacts your fertility.

Smoking Negatively Impacts Sperm Health

The European Urology published an eye-opening meta-analysis on the impact of smoking on sperm health. The review included 20 studies of more than 5,000 men across Europe. The meta-analysis found smoking directly impacted sperm health and male fertility. Smoking and other tobacco usage led to a decreased sperm volume, decreased sperm movement, and poor sperm shape. The 20 studies, as presented in the meta-analysis, unequivocally showed how smoking impacts sperm health, to include:

Volume (sperm count): A healthy sperm count ranges between 15 million to 200 million sperm per milliliter (ml) of semen. Any sample below 15 million per ml of semen may impact male fertility. Research has shown a 23 percent decrease in sperm concentration in men who smoke.

Movement (sperm motility): Motility refers to how quickly sperm move. Inefficient sperm mobility is one of the leading causes of male infertility. Researchers found a 13 percent decrease in sperm motility in men who smoke.

Shape (sperm morphology): Sperm morphology describes the shape and size of sperm. Healthy sperm have rounded heads and long, strong tails. Male smokers have fewer healthy shaped sperm than non-smokers. 

Sperm DNA: Research indicates the sperm of smokers increases the risk of DNA fragmentation. When sperm is damaged from smoking their DNA is impacted. This may cause problems with embryo development, fertilization, embryo implantation, and increased miscarriage rates. 

Sperm Testing with Legacy

According to the Mayo Clinic, infertility affects upwards of 15% of couples. Male infertility can be due to a variety of factors, to include a low sperm count, a blockage that prevents the delivery of sperm, and abnormal sperm function (such as movement and shape). Additionally, injuries, illnesses, lifestyle choices, chronic health problems, and other factors can play a role in male infertility. If you and your partner are struggling to conceive, sperm testing helps you to determine if your sperm is impacting your fertility.

Using the latest advances and innovations in scientific technology, Legacy helps men test their sperm within the privacy and comfort of their home. With a leading sperm analysis kit, our process makes it easy to test and store your semen sample. In as little as 48 hours from receiving your sample, the Legacy Fertility Report provides clients with an in-depth 6-page report analyzing the 5 key data points of male fertility: volume, count, concentration, motility and morphology.

Contact a member of our fertility team to learn more.