Smoking and Sperm Count?

Can smoking affect my partner’s sperm count?
profile picture of Samuel Wood, MD
BySamuel Wood, MD
Reproductive Endocrinologist
Updated
Jan 2017
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Among the long list of smoking’s evils is the effect that tobacco smoke can have on reducing both sperm count (quantity) and motility (how fast those swimmers can reach an egg). While doctors aren’t clear on the direct effect this may have on fertility (there are countries out there with high rates of smokers that are still making babies every minute of the day) there is good evidence that if your partner breaks his habit, he’ll see a marked improvement in his sperm within four to six weeks.

If your partner has plenty of sperm, smoking may or may not make a big difference in his ability to help you get pregnant. But if his sperm is only borderline quality, it can make a difference in helping you conceive. Either way, since there are a ton of health risks associated with cigarettes, helping him quit smoking now will be one of the smartest ideas and biggest gifts he can give to both you and your soon-to-be-developing family.

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