According to a latest study, smoking may pose a risk to a person’s fertility. In fact, the study emphasized that smoking not only is harmful for your fertility, it is a big concern on the fertility of the next generation as well. According to two separate studies, men who smoke cigarettes tend to lower the concentration of proteins in their testes which are essential for sperm generation. On the other hand, women who smoke while in their pregnancy may inseminate the seeds of infertility in their unborn child.
First study – Female fertility
One study substantiated the link between smoking and the relative damage to fertility. In the study, researchers first obtained 24 testes, from 37-68 days embryos after the legal termination of the pregnancy. The researchers found that the number of germ cells that primarily leads to the formation of eggs and sperm were decreased by 55% in fetuses from women who smoked during pregnancy. These researches also discovered a 37% decrease in the ordinary or somatic cells that are present in the embryos.
According to a scientist from Denmark, smoking had a significant effect on the germ cells in the gonads that too very early in pregnancy. However, this was not the case in a previous study where female fetuses were recorded to have slightly lower corresponding reduction in the number of germ cells and somatic cells – of 41% and 29% respectively.
According to researchers, the male embryos studied in the latest study showed a high sensitivity because they were more exposed to cigarettes daily, on average. However, the researchers of the study were unsure whether the decrease in germ cells was permanent or temporary. This raised an important question on whether women who smoke while pregnant were damaging the future fertility of their fetus.
Second study – Male fertility
In the second study, the researchers studied the concentration of proteins namely protamines P1 and P2. These two proteins are important for the creation of chromosomes during cell division. Any change in the concentrations of these proteins could adversely affect male fertility.
The study examined the sperm count of 53 men who smoked and 63 men who were non-smokers. It was found that men who smoke over 20 cigarettes daily have about 14% less concentration of the protamine P2 than their non-smoking counterparts. Overall, these men had a high ration of P1 to P2. Protamine P2 helps to package sperm DNA into chromosomes. The poor packaging of DNA is linked with reduced probability for fertilization after a sexual intercourse and a high chance of miscarriage as well as other fertility troubles. In men, who smoked, there was found to be a high level of oxidative stress”. This can cause a chemical imbalance which can harm the sperm DNA.
Studies suggested men who plan to reproduce to stop smoking well in advance. This will be helpful not only for their fertility but also for the fertility of their unborn child. To know the best way to quit smoking, it is suggested to consult your doctor. He may prescribe your certain quit smoking pills or support programs that can help you get rid of this harmful addiction.