Fertility of woman and man Sperm quality

Smoking affects your fertility

Harry closes his eyes. Finally, after all the hustle and bustle of the morning, there is a short escape and a moment of silence and relaxation. Slowly he lifts his hand and pulls on his cigarette appreciatively.
At the same time, mayhem explodes a bit lower in his body, his baby spermatozoa squirm and writhe: ”Oh no, not again – he is trying to kill us!”

Exaggeration? Not really! Smoking not only increases the risk of diseases such as lung cancer, but it also affects your fertility significantly.

Toxins in tobacco smoke

The smoke of your cigarette contains an array of harmful components. Carbon-monoxide decreases the capacity of blood to bind oxygen, diminishing performance. Nicotine induces addiction, stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and decreases the sensation of hunger. However, it is not responsible for increased risk of diseases. Cancer-causing benzopyrene affects respiratory tracts and immune system in particular and cadmium enhances accumulation of harmful substances in the body. Altogether, these and other unhealthy components lead to increased oxidative stress in the entire body and also in the reproductive tract.

Erectile dysfunction and impaired semen quality

Two out of three men suffering from erectile dysfunction are smokers. In addition to that, sperm analysis unveils that smokers often have less spermatozoa than their non-smoking mates. In addition to that, the sperms  are less motile and often strangely shaped. And even if there are no visible damages to sperm health, additional problems lurk: Toxins in the tobacco smoke can damage the genetic material transported by spermatozoa.

Therefore, smokers are more likely to require medical assistance when planning for pregnancy, their chances of success after fertility treatment are diminished and there is an increased risk of birth defects and childhood cancer.

Protect your fertility now!

Obviously, the first step is to stop smoking at once. While damage that has already occurred is irreversible, spermatozoa develop anew in the body all the time and the new generation of sperms can now develop to be much healthier. To help your sperms, supply your body with additional antioxidants to tackle oxidative stress induced by remnant toxins from smoke. Good sources include fresh, seasonal, regional, and ideally organically grown fruit and vegetables.
At the same time, strengthen your immune system with ample vitamins and supply the new generation of spermatozoa with the minerals zinc and selenium, which they need for their development. Add some extra support by taking one vegetarian capsule of Fertilovit® MT each day.


Esakky P, Moley KH. Paternal smoking and germ cell death: A mechanistic link to the effects of cigarette smoke on spermatogenesis and possible long-term sequelae in offspring. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2016 Nov 5;435:85-93. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2016.07.015. Epub 2016 Jul 14.

About the author

Dr. rer. nat. Birgit Wogatzky

For many years now, biologist and nutritionist Dr Birgit Wogatzky, has been focusing on the special needs of fertility patients. For the readers of this blog, she sums up interesting novel information and developments from current research projects regarding lifestyle and nutrition of fertility patients.

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