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Does Smoking Affect Sperm?

Do you smoke? Are you trying for a baby? Professor Allan Pacey gives us the low down on smoking and male fertility.


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0:02 So the effect of smoking cigarettes, cigars or a pipe on sperm production is
0:09 really more complicated than people at first might think.  There's not a lot of
0:15 evidence to suggest that smoking reduces the number of sperm that are
0:21 produced by a man.
0:23 It seems to be that most of the studies suggest that sperm production
0:27 continues at a similar rate as what we see in non-smokers.
0:32 So when we look down the microscope at the semen of men who smoke at first
0:38 glance we don't see any difference in comparison to non-smokers.  The sperm also seem to swim
0:44 just as well and they also have size and shape that's also very similar to that
0:49 of non-smokers.
0:50 But if we make more detailed observations of the DNA, the genetic
0:56 component of the sperm, and that's what sperm are built for to carry, the man's
1:01 DNA to the egg to create a new life.
1:05 When we look at the DNA quality of smokers
1:09 it really is less healthy the non-smokers.  The DNA is more likely to be
1:14 chopped damaged or disorganised and the influence of that will be more likely to
1:22 increase the risk of miscarriage or, potentially increase the risk of not
1:28 getting pregnant at all, because the sperm DNA isn't working correctly.  So the
1:34 advice, smokers, really is that you should stop smoking if you're trying to
1:39 conceive.
1:40 Because we know it takes three months to produce a sperm.
1:44 You should stop smoking for a long extended period of time and allow all those
1:49 toxins to get out of your body and allow for new healthy sperm to be produced.
1:54 I would argue more than that you should probably stop in the long term because
1:58 if you are successful and you have a child, smoking around children is
2:02 not something that we would recommend.