Smoking decreases men's chances of fatherhood by IVF and ICSI

July 02, 2002

Vienna, Austria: Men who smoke reduce their chances of successfully fathering a child by either standard IVF techniques or by ICSI, according to research carried out in Germany.

Dr Michael Zitzmann told the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual conference in Vienna that smoking altered the DNA of sperm and he believed this hampered the development of the embryo.

His team from the Institute of Reproductive Medicine in Münster, Germany, studied 301 couples, of whom 153 were receiving ICSI treatment and 148 were receiving IVF treatment. Amongst those receiving ICSI treatment, 71 men were habitual smokers, and in the IVF group 68 men were smokers.

The researchers found that smoking was the only significant predictor of outcome in couples receiving ICSI treatment. In the ICSI group, 22% of the women with smoking partners became pregnant, compared to 38% of women with non-smoking partners. In the IVF group the results were similar, with 18% of women with smoking partners becoming pregnant compared to 32% of women whose partners were not smokers.

The number of pregnancies amongst couples receiving IVF treatment depended on several factors: the number of embryos transferred to the mother, smoking in men, sperm motility and female age. If the woman smoked, the number of eggs capable of being retrieved from her ovaries dropped significantly from an average of 11.7 per cycle to 9.5 (although these figures were influenced by the woman's age, as the older the woman, the fewer eggs can be retrieved). The chances of the eggs being successfully fertilised also dropped.

Dr Zitzmann said: "These results show that men who smoke, significantly decrease the success rates of assisted reproduction procedures, not only in IVF, but also in ICSI. The chances of the whole procedure failing and no pregnancy occurring was two to three times higher in smoking men compared with non-smokers. Smoking probably has an adverse effect during the fertilisation procedure, but, in addition, smoking damages the DNA in sperm and this may hamper the development of the embryo.

"We would like to stress to couples that smoking not only affects their own health but, under the special circumstances of assisted reproduction, it represents a needless risk to women undergoing futile hormonal stimulation, as well as an unnecessary financial burden."

He concluded: "It can be assumed that quitting smoking will be beneficial to couples undergoing IVF or ICSI. However, we do not know how long the damaging effects of smoking last after quitting as our study did not investigate this."
Abstract no: 0-184 (Tuesday 17.15 hrs CET Hall E1) URL:

Further information:

Press Office: (Sunday 30 June -Wednesday 3 July)
Margaret Willson, Emma Mason, Janet Blümli
Tel: +43 (0) 1 260 69 2010 or +43 (0) 1 260 69 2011
Fax: +43 (0) 1 260 69 2012

European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology

Related Smoking Articles from Brightsurf:

Smoking rates falling in adults, but stroke survivors' smoking rates remain steady
While the rate of Americans who smoke tobacco has fallen steadily over the last two decades, the rate of stroke survivors who smoke has not changed significantly.

What is your risk from smoking? Your network knows!
A new study from researchers at Penn's Annenberg School for Communication found that most people, smokers and non-smokers alike, were nowhere near accurate in their answers to questions about smoking's health effects.

Want to quit smoking? Partner up
Kicking the habit works best in pairs. That's the main message of a study presented today at EuroPrevent 2019, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Smoking and mortality in Asia
In this analysis of data from 20 studies conducted in China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and India with more than 1 million participants, deaths associated with smoking continued to increase among men in Asia grouped by the years in which they were born.

Predictors of successfully quitting smoking among smokers registered at the quit smoking clinic at a public hospital in northeastern Malaysia
In the current issue of Family Medicine and Community Health, Nur Izzati Mohammad et al. consider how cigarette smoking is one of the risk factors leading to noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular and respiratory system diseases and cancer.

Restaurant and bar smoking bans do reduce smoking, especially among the highly educated
Smoking risk drops significantly in college graduates when they live near areas that have completely banned smoking in bars and restaurants, according to a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

How the UK smoking ban increased wellbeing
Married women with children reported the largest increase in well-being following the smoking bans in the UK in 2006 and 2007 but there was no comparable increase for married men with children.

Smoking study personalizes treatment
A simple blood test is allowing Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) researchers to determine which patients should be prescribed varenicline (Chantix) to stop smoking and which patients could do just as well, and avoid side effects, by using a nicotine patch.

A biophysical smoking gun
While much about Alzheimer's disease remains a mystery, scientists do know that part of the disease's progression involves a normal protein called tau, aggregating to form ropelike inclusions within brain cells that eventually strangle the neurons.

A case where smoking helped
A mutation in the hemoglobin of a young woman in Germany was found to cause her mild anemia.

Read More: Smoking News and Smoking Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to