Smoking is bad for your health as well as your fertility. Though this is generally common knowledge, two recent studies have now produced an unexpected new finding. The researchers have shown that fathers-to-be should refrain from smoking just as much as mothers-to-be.
Smoking during pregnancy is bad for the unborn child. Not only does the fetus receive less oxygen, it also absorbs all the harmful substances released by the cigarettes the mother smokes. But that’s not all. If a mother smokes, it significantly reduces the number of germline cells (which go on to produce sperm and ovules) and the fetus’s somatic cells. When this child then reaches adulthood, he will in turn experience difficulty with reproduction.
The authors of the second study focus on the effect of smoking on protamines. These proteins play an important role in sperm development. Because of this, the chances of a woman becoming pregnant if her partner is a smoker are reduced. Risk of miscarriage is also increased by the father smoking.
So, the conclusion is: the more a man smokes, the less fertile his sperm will be. Though most are already aware of this, what was previously unknown is that this risk can be passed on from one generation to the next.