Smoking cigarettes and the influence on sperm quality

September 03, 2019

Smoking cigarettes is a recognized problem when it comes to sperm quality. The decline in the quality of sperm has been found more significant when it comes to the heavy smokers (more than 20 cigarettes a day) compared to moderate (10-20 cigarettes a day) or mild smokers (1-10 cigarettes a day).


One of the ways, tobacco is influencing sperm quality is by disturbing the DNA quality causing mutation of sperm cells. In order for sperm to be healthy, the sperm cells have to have positive vitality, morphology, motility and sperm count.  
Tobacco is influencing 3 of them – sperm count, motility and morphology. Influencing these factors might result in fewer sperm cells, sperm cells that are not able to swim or sperm cells that are morphologically abnormal. 

Furthermore, cigarette smoke contains the reactive oxygen species also called ROS, which is the major reason for Leucocytospermia. Leucocytospermia means the presence of white blood cells in the ejaculate. Higher levels of ROS are negatively influencing the performance of sperm cells and therefore lead to lower sperm quality.  
You can read more about what determines sperm quality in the previous post.  
So, if you do not consider other health risks connected to smoking cigarettes, you might consider quitting at least for 3 months to try to improve the quality of your sperm cells.  


It is definitely easier said than done to quit smoking cigarettes, but some people found it quite helpful using apps to measure their progress in quitting. Healthline.com made a great overview of Apps for both Android and iPhone.  
One of the very well rated apps for iPhone is the My Quit Coach by Livestrong.com. The great thing about the app is that besides a customized quitting plan, you get access to a community where you can share your experience and support with other people. The SmokeFree for Android provides motivational tips, personal statistics and even financial stats on how much money you saved. 

The Harvard Medical School had also published a great article on quitting smoking that recommends a two-pronged approach, which is a combination of a behavioural strategy and a nicotine replacement. When it comes to behavioural strategy, it can be anything from consulting with your doctor to a friend, but social support seems to be an important factor when quitting smoking.  
Nicotine replacements offer a wide variety of products from chewing gums, to patches and inhalators. 
In case of a combination of nicotine replacement, one should take into consideration the amounts of nicotine in each in order to avoid overdosing with nicotine.  
Whether you decide for one or the other option of quoting, the Smokefree.gov provides never-ending suggestions on quitting, but also staying cigarettes free.  



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