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Effects of smoking on male fertility

Introduction

The hazardous effects of the cigarette smoking particularly not only affect the respiratory and cardiovascular systems but will also affect the male fertility. Male fertility refers to the ability of a man to produce high quality of sperm with a normal sperm morphology, count and motility. However, cigarette smoking will reduce sperm production and sperm motility. Despite, smoking will also produce abnormal sperm morphology. Sperm is important to fertilize the egg and maintain the offspring.

Sperm Morphology, Count and Motility

male-fertility-1

Figure 1: Normal and Abnormal Sperm Morphology

Source from D. S. Guzick, J. W. Overstreet, P. Factor-Litvak et al., “Sperm morphology, motility, and concentration in fertile and infertile men,” New England Journal of Medicine 345, no. 19 (November 8, 2001).

male-fertility-2

Figure 2: Sperm Count, Morphology, and Motility

Source from Guzick et al., “Sperm Morphology, Motility and Concentration,” NEJM 345 (2001)

Table 1 shown range for the fertile, intermediate and infertile sperm count, morphology and motility

Count
106/ml
Motility
%
Morphology
% normal
Fertile > 48 > 63 > 12
Intermediate fertility 13.5-48 32-63 9-12
Infertile < 13.5 < 13.5 < 9

Table 1: Source from http://www.healthematics.com/understanding-semen-analysis-results-whats-normal-whats-abnormal/

Composition of Cigarette Smoke

Cigarette smoke consists of gases, vaporized liquids and particles. Table 2 shown few of the chemicals found in tobacco smoke:

Acetone found in nail polish remover
Acetic Acid an ingredient in hair dye
Ammonia a common household cleaner
Arsenic used in rat poison
Benzene found in rubber cement
Butane used in lighter fluid
Cadmium active component in battery acid
Carbon Monoxide released in car exhaust fumes
Nicotine used as insecticide
Tar material for paving roads
Toluene used to manufacture paint

Table 2: Source from http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/about-smoking/facts-figures/whats-in-a-cigarette

Smoking and Decreased Sperm Quality

Studies on male smoking have shown a decrease in the quality of sperm. Some of the effects included:

  1. Sperm count: Male smokers have shown a 23% decrease in sperm count.
  2. Sperm motility: Male smokers have shown a 13% decrease in sperm motility.
  3. Sperm morphology: Male smokers have shown abnormal sperm morphology.

Summary

In summary, the percentage of male fertility decreased on male smokers and will affect the sperm count, sperm motility and sperm morphology.

References

  1. D. S. Guzick, J. W. Overstreet, P. Factor-Litvak et al., “Sperm morphology, motility, and concentration in fertile and infertile men,” New England Journal of Medicine 345, no. 19 (November 8, 2001).
  2. http://www.healthematics.com/understanding-semen-analysis-results-whats-normal-whats-abnormal/
  3. http://www.infertilityny.com/sperm-morphology
  4. Guzick et al., “Sperm Morphology, Motility and Concentration,” NEJM 345 (2001)
  5. http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/about-smoking/facts-figures/whats-in-a-cigarette
Last Reviewed : 04 January 2016
Writer : Fatin Hanani bt. Baharuddin
Accreditor : Krishnan a/l Kanniah