Yet another reason to put down the cigarettes.
We know, we know—you've already told your partner that his cigarette smoking isn't good for baby-making. But if you needed fresh evidence, a new study published in BJU International sheds even more light on the relationship between smoking and poor sperm quality.
After observing 20 male smokers and 20 men who did not smoke, researchers found greater DNA damage in the men who smoked than in those who did not. They also observed 422 proteins in the participants' sperm, noting some abnormalities in the proteins of sperm from smokers. After analyzing these proteins, it appears that smoking can cause an inflammatory response in the male reproductive tract.
"More and more studies are demonstrating a harmful effect of smoking on male fertility. Our results point in the direction of important semen alterations: semen of smokers present an inflammatory nature, associated with decreased capacity of sperm to achieve fertilization and generate a healthy pregnancy," Ricardo Pimenta Bertolla, PhD, senior author of the study, said. "It is especially noteworthy that, in our study, sperm DNA fragmentation was increased. Other studies have proposed this to be a potentially promutagenic effect, which is to say that sperm with altered DNA may lead to health problems in the offspring."
So, if you're trying to get pregnant, tell your guy to kick the nicotine habit, stat.
Related: The Dangers of Smoking Mount