News story: Increased risk of miscarriage if expectant father is a smoker
Analysis: A new study conducted in Switzerland, a country which is yet to enforce a country wide smoking ban, suggests that pregnancy is at risk even before conception if the expectant father is a smoker.
Medical experts have long warned of the risks associated with smoking during pregnancy, warning pregnant women of the serious side effects to the foetus of lighting up during the 36 week term. Increased sensitivity to cigarette smoke puts both the pregnant woman and her unborn baby at risk of complications. However, this new study shows a further risk factor for couples to consider before they conceive suggesting that smoking damages the quality of sperm and brings with it potentially serious consequences for pregnancy.
The study, conducted by researchers at the medical center for assisted reproduction ProCrea Lugano (Switzerland), involved 816 patients. Patients underwent clinical examinations aimed at assessing the fertility of male smokers. The tests analysed the degree of sperm DNA fragmentation and the resulting effects this had on pregnancy. Upon analysing the patients, researchers discovered a high correlation between the degree of fragmentation and the risk of miscarriage.
The research was presented at the ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology) annual meeting, in Stockholm. The result of this study confirms that smoking is a risk factor for the degree of DNA fragmentation.
Specialists advise male smokers who want to become fathers to drastically reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke or better still to quit smoking altogether. They also advise that men boost their sperm quality by taking vitamin E supplements for several months.
© 2009 - PharmaDoctor - UK CQC registered online health care service provider for pharmacies. PharmaDoctor is owned by eScripts Marketing Limited and operated in association with FMC Marketing Ltd, a CQC-registered company working with medical professionals GMC registered doctors and UK-registered pharmacies.