Thursday, 24 October 2013

Smoking, the prime cause for lower sperm count

Smoking, the prime cause for lower sperm count

When infertile couples come to me for treatment, it is the first and foremost task to know about their lifestyle. It is certainly important because there are so many factors related to lifestyle and habits cause infertility problems in men and women. I spend significant time in talking to them, understanding the miner and finer points of their habits. Consumption of nicotine is a common habit. It has direct correlation with infertility problem. Smoking causes various health ailments, some of them are fatal.

Smoking is bad for health from all the aspects, including fertility. There has been a clear correlation found between smoking and male infertility. It affects almost every aspect of the sperm and semen and thereby reduces the chances of conception.

The problem

Smoking is an addictive problem and therefore it shows as increasing trend of consumption. Prolonged addiction to smoking causes devastating effects. Excessive smoking increases the level of toxins in the body that subsequently causes damage to male fertility.

a)  Affects the concentration of sperms: Smoking reduces the number of sperms per milliliter. It is a critical aspect for conception because out of millions of sperms, only a few are able to reach up to the matured egg.  In case of lower concentration of sperms, conception becomes difficult. Studies have indicated that there is as high as 25% decrease in the number of sperms due to excessive smoking.

b)  Motility of the sperms: Motility means the capability to swim across the uterus for penetration. Only swift and strong sperms can reach to the egg. Researchers say that prolonged smoking can drop the motility levels up to 15%. It is a significant drop and drastically reduces the chances of pregnancy.

c)  Morphology (shape) of the sperm:  Shape and size of the sperms are critical aspects for fertility. Sperms with improper shape can't swim properly and can't reach to the matured egg. Studies indicate that smokers have lesser number of well-shaped sperms compared to non-smokers.

d)  Imbalance in the fertility hormones: Hormones are important to determine the fertility levels. Excessive smoking causes imbalance in the hormone levels and affects the chances of successful pregnancy.  The imbalance affects quantity and quality of the sperms.

The solution

I explain the ill-effects of smoking to the would be parents and convince to quit the bad habit immediately. I call professional counselors to emphasize and underline the dangers of smoking. Audio-visual presentations, slideshows and movies explain the topic in detail.

Leaving the bad habit is the first step towards correcting the problem.  It stops further damage to the body. Cleansing harmful toxins from the body is the next step. Hormonal treatment is given to boost the fertility level. Vitamin supplements are prescribed to the patients so that fertility levels can be improved. Vitamin B12, C, E and zinc supplements improve it significantly. Proper treatment corrects the problem quickly and expected results can be achieved.

There is a clear correlation between smoking and male infertility therefore, it is better to quit the bad habit!

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