SMOKING AND MALE FERTILITY
Smoking affects male fertility in several ways. Smoking causes damage to the sperm themselves, smoking causes low sperm count, lowers the amount of sperm produced and smoking can also cause impotence. Not only are smokers themselves at risk but a male whose mother was a smoker has a reduced likelihood of becoming a father himself. The average sperm count has lowered over the recent decades and smoking has been named as the most likely culprit.
SMOKING LOWERS SPERM COUNT
The sperm count of men who smoke can be as much as 15% below non smokers. With the average amount of sperm anywhere between 50 million and 150 million per milliliter this could reduce the amount of sperm to below 20 million per milliliter. A low sperm count can be due to insufficient levels of vitamin B12, vitamin E and zinc. It is known that smoking inhibits the absorption of vitamins and minerals and can also disrupt the balance of hormones.
SMOKING AND SPERM MOBILITY
Sperm mobility is the ability of the sperm to travel through the vagina and cervix to reach the egg and achieve fertilization. The sperm have to be moving forward at a speed quick enough to reach the egg. An average sperm mobility is when 50% of the sperm are moving correctly.
SMOKING AND IMPOTENCE
The blood in the penis is creates pressure in the muscles, which makes it expand. Anything that interferes with that blood flow has the potential to cause impotence. It is a known fact that smoking can lead to the break down of the blood vessels that carry blood to the penis. Unless blood can flow freely into the penis an erection can not be maintained. It is therefore extremely important that these blood vessels are in a very healthy condition. Smoking can close up the arteries that lead to the penis and reduce the necessary blood pressure, and obviously if an erection is impossible conception can not occur.