MEN who smoke are putting their chances of fatherhood at risk, research shows.
Long known to affect the fertility of women, studies are increasingly showing that cigarettes also damage men’s ability to reproduce.
Research released today by Quit Victoria shows men who are moderate to heavy smokers have lower sperm counts, poorer sperm movement and more irregular-shaped sperm than non-smokers.
Fertility specialist Dr Raelia Lew, from Melbourne IVF, said fertility problems caused by smoking were not restricted to women.
“Not only can smoking damage the DNA in a woman’s eggs, it can also affect DNA in sperm,” Dr Lew said.
“This can have health implications for children from birth into adulthood.
However, Dr Lew said the damage to sperm can be reversed within three months of a man quitting smoking: “That is how long it takes new sperm to develop”.
Quit Victoria and the Fertility Coalition have launched an interactive online tool helping couples to boost their chances of starting a family.