Sometimes we find that little lifestyle modifications can have a major impact on fertility and infertility. We’d like to consider how smoking affects men, and why it’s so important to quit smoking as soon as possible–better still, you shouldn’t smoke in the first place.
Smoking Harms Your Entire Body, Not Just Your Lungs
It’s common knowledge that smoking leads to an increased risk of developing lung disease, lung cancer, and a number of respiratory disorders. Yet smoking does much more harm than that. In addition to causing lung problems, smoking can also lead to heart disease, hypertension, poor dental health, and other major wellness issues. In addition, smoking can affect your fertility whether you are a man or a woman.
Smoking Is Linked to Delays in Conception
Studies have shown that even in couples who are otherwise fertile, smoking can lead to delays in successful conception. This can be very frustrating if you are trying to have a child and start a family.
Smoking Can Reduce Your Sperm Count
Sperm count refers to the amount of sperm present in a man’s semen when he ejaculates. Studies show that male smokers have 23 percent less sperm than non-smokers.
Smoking Can Impact Sperm Motility
Sperm motility is just as important as sperm count. Motility refers to a sperm’s ability to swim and maneuver around. If a sperm can’t swim well, it will have a harder time reaching the egg for fertilization. Studies have found that male smokers have sperm that is 13 percent less motile than the sperm from non-smokers.
Smoking Can Lead to Deformed Sperm
The shape of a sperm is crucial, and smoking can actually lead to problems with sperm morphology. This means sperm with a tail that’s too long or too short, or sperm with a head that’s too large or too small. Sometimes multiple heads or tails may occur, which increases the risk of birth defects and other health issues.
Erectile Dysfunction Is More Common If You Smoke
On top of all the problems with sperm quality, smoking has been linked to increased instances of erectile dysfunction. This makes sense given how smoking affects blood circulation. It’s been estimated that men who smoke are twice as likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction as men who don’t smoke.
Smoking Can Even Lead to Problems with Fertility Treatment
Perhaps most alarming, smoking can actually lead to failure with professional fertility treatments. This goes for in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other procedures. A failed cycle could be costly and disappointing.
Kick the Habit for a Better Future
All in all, it pays to quit smoking. Not only will you be more likely to have a child, you will also be healthier and have a better overall quality of life. This is something you’ll want to keep in mind since you’ll want to be around and be active as your baby grows up. Get the help you need to kick the habit for good.