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Smoking and Tobacco

Having a baby

02/17/2009

Question:

Hello, I am 59 years of age and I smoke menthol cigarettes. My wife is 40 years of age and is Asian. We are trying to have a baby. Can you please tell me if my smoking is a contributing factor to her not conceiving? Any help would be appreciated.

Answer:

There is reasonable evidence that smoking harms male fertility. Smoking impairs sperm movement (motility), reduces the length of time a sperm lives, and may harm the genetic material (DNA) in the sperm causing problems in fertilization and potential mutations in children.

Smokers are also more likely to have erection problems, lower sex drive, and less frequent sex. Obviously, this is a conversation you need to have with your doctor.

Perhaps more importantly, is it wise for you to consider fathering a baby as a 60-year-old smoker? Will you see your children grow up? How will they be supported? Your chances of living to age 80 are less than one in three, whereas two-thirds of non-smoking men live past 80.

At some point you may need to ask yourself, "What's more important to me, my cigarettes or my family?"

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Response by:

Rob  Crane, MD Rob Crane, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University