We have all heard about the damaging effects of excessive alcohol consumption and smoking on our general health, but what most of us don’t realize is that these also have a negative effect on male fertility. Yes, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking both have a negative impact on your semen production as well as your sperm production and quality. Let’s have a look at how alcohol and smoking effects your sperm production and reduces your fertility.
Effect of smoking on semen and sperm production
Tobacco is believed to alter the hormone levels in a man which have an impact on the production of sperm and the semen in the male reproductive system.
Tobacco is believed to alter the hormone levels in a man which have an impact on the production of sperm and the semen in the male reproductive system. Smoking also tends to make the ejaculated semen highly toxic which is not conducive for the health of the sperm and successful fertilization.
In a study conducted in Germany, the sperm of 53 heavy smokers and 53 non-smokers was examined. The study basically looked at the influence of cigarette smoking on specific proteins called protamines in the sperm cells of men. These protamines, namely P1 and P2, are considered to be important for fertilization after intercourse and fertilization after IVF and ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). Lack of these proteins also increases the chances of miscarriages.
The study found that the concentration of the P2 protein was more than 14% lower in the sperm of smokers than in the non-smokers. This means that cigarette smoking can lead to infertility in men. They also found that in normal sperm, the ratio of P1 and P2 is 1:1, however, in smokers, P1 levels are higher than levels of P2.
The study also found that sperm DNA could also be destroyed due to the damaging effects of free radicals in smokers. Smoking tends to cause an imbalance in the body between these free radicals and antioxidant compounds. These can damage sperm cells and deplete their stores as well. By affecting the sperm’s DNA, smoking can also affect the baby’s growth and increase risk of cancers.
This study clearly showed that smoking has an adverse effect on the quality and quantity of sperm cells in the male reproductive system. Keep in mind that there is nothing like reducing the number of cigarettes per day. If you want to reverse the effects of smoking on your semen and sperm, you will need to quit smoking for good.
Effect of alcohol on sperm and semen production
Studies have indicated that excessive alcohol intake can reduce the quantity and quality of the sperm.
Studies have indicated that excessive alcohol intake can reduce the quantity and quality of the sperm. Alcohol can enter the testicles through the bloodstream and cause damage to the shape of the sperm cells. This can lead to sperms with deformed heads or tails and cause hindrance to their movement.
The semen of men may also contain alcohol and this may reach the egg, damaging the resulting embryo. This may cause birth defects and miscarriages.
Studies have been conducted on animals to find out if alcohol has any negative effect on sperm production. In a study conducted on rats, it was found that alcohol led to low levels of testosterone and disturbances in hormonal functioning. It also found decreased seminal production in these rats.
It is believed that alcohol may affect sperm in such a way that only a few remain free of the damaging effects of drinking. It also alters the semen composition, which can harm the ejaculated sperm by either killing it or by reducing its mobility.
It is also believed that alcohol consumption may cause abnormal liver function which may give rise to increased estrogen levels. This may cause problems in sperm production.
Excessive consumption may reduce sperm count in the short time. However, if you abstain from drinking, your sperm counts may return to normal. However, keep in mind that sperm takes around three months to develop. So, if you are going for a semen analysis test, wait for at least four months before getting your sperm count checked.
If you really cannot do without alcohol, you should limit your consumption. Limit your intake to one or two drinks a day. Anything more than that, can affect your semen and sperm production. Also keep in mind that long-term excessive consumption of alcohol can actually cause permanent and irreversible damage to your sperm production. This means that even after you stop drinking, you may never be able to raise your sperm count levels.
In conclusion, if you really want to conceive, you should stop smoking and limit your alcohol consumption. These can not only reduce sperm count and decrease semen production but also have a negative effect on sperm quality and health as well as the quality of your ejaculation. This means that fertilization may become difficult and even if it does occur, there are increased chances of birth defects in the resultant fetus and an increased chance of miscarriages.
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