Smoking Linked to Sperm Harm in Men With Varicocele

-- Eric Metcalf

Monday, October 19, 2009

MONDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In men with varicocele, smoking more than 10 cigarettes daily was associated with a harmful effect on sperm motility and morphology, according to research published in the October issue of Urology.

Giulia Collodel, Ph.D., and colleagues from the the University of Siena in Italy analyzed data from 279 men with varicocele, divided into four groups by smoking status: nonsmokers, mild (between one and 10 cigarettes daily), moderate (11 to 19), and heavy (20 or more).

The researchers found that the smokers and nonsmokers didn't have a significantly different fertility index. However, moderate and heavy smokers had a lower sperm concentration, sperm motility, and fertility index compared to the mild smokers. The percentage of sperm pathologic features also increased along with a rising number of cigarettes smoked daily.

"The present results found a detrimental effect for the association of cigarette smoke (<10 cigarettes/d) with the presence of varicocele on sperm motility and morphology. However, we could not define a threshold of safe exposure because varicocele was also present. Because much of the reduced fecundity associated with smoking can be reversed within one year of cessation, effective interventions targeted at helping patients stop smoking should be addressed for both benefits to general health and fertility," the authors conclude.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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