Nicotine Damages Sperm
Construction workers are exposed to a wide range of toxics on the job that can lead to reproductive problems. You learn to protect yourself from these toxics, especially if you want a family. If you are a smoker, however, there's no protection from cigarettes, which may threaten your ability to father children.
A University of Buffalo study showed that men who smoke may be damaging their sperm and reducing their ability to have children. It also showed that heavier smokers were more likely to suffer from this effect. The study involved men who had smoked at least 4 cigarettes a day for more than two years; it compared their sperm function to non-smoking males who had shown they were fertile. The sperm was tested for its ability to attach to an egg.
*** Two out of three smokers scored low in fertilizing potential.
*** Smokers who failed the test were smoking twice as many cigarettes as smokers who passed the test.
*** Only 18% of heavy smokers passed the test.
"None of these men had zero fertilizing potential," said the lead researcher, "but the results mean that their sperm had only 25% of the fertilizing function found in non-smoking men." Previous studies showed that nicotine changed three sperm functions required to fertilize an egg. The researcher added, "Smoking men should be aware that smoking can damage their sperm DNA, passing on faulty DNA to their baby."
Concerned smokers should quit. If you want to quit, call the California Smokers Helpline at 1-800-NO-BUTTS for help that is both free and confidential.
Source: "Men’s Health News," October 17, 2005