It was shown that the factors that can have the biggest impact on the quality of sperm cells are smog, smoking, varicocele, diabetes, testicular tumours, and ageing.
Scientists have determined the main risk factors that can lower sperm quality and increase infertility. Researchers from Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary, have pinpointed the most perilous elements that might harm sperm tissue. It was shown that the factors that can have the biggest impact on the quality of sperm cells are smog, smoking, varicocele, diabetes, testicular tumours, and ageing.
In the study, which was published in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, variables that might have a major impact on the genetic fragmentation of sperm were examined.
Currently, the only evidence-based technique for evaluating the functioning of sperm cells is the so-called DNA fragmentation analysis. It looks at their DNA composition, specifically the percentage of whole or broken genetic material in the sperm. According to Dr. Zsolt Kopa, director of the Andrology Centre at the Department of Urology at Semmelweis University, the more DNA is fragmented, the less likely it is that sperm will be able to fertilise an egg. It can also raise the risk of miscarriage.
The researchers conducted the largest meta-analysis to date, drawing data from nearly 27,000 studies.
Researchers found that smoking could increase DNA fragmentation by an average of 9.19% when compared to non-smokers in the current study. Besides this, there was no clinically significant relationship between alcohol consumption and body weight.
Chlamydia and HPV are examples of infections that do not affect the quality of sperm, whereas bacterial or other STDs have higher DNA fragmentation rates (8.98% and 5.54%). An estimated one in six couples experience infertility issues, and the fertility rate in Western affluent nations is falling. There are several contributing factors, and men account for about 50% of them.
One explanation might be a high rate of DNA fragmentation. The experts advise that it is worthwhile to enhance lifestyle factors even before attempting to conceive. For instance, making the decision to stop smoking, starting a regular exercise regimen, or improving your diet could be an excellent place to start.