Scientists from Fertility Medical Group in Brazil have presented research at ESHRE that links poor paternal lifestyles with semen quality and potential outcomes.
Researchers conducted a cohort study, looking at 965 male patients undergoing fertility treatment from October 2015 to December 2016, taking into account potential negative influences on semen quality such as cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, environmental and occupational exposure, physical activity, and medications.
The study found that cigarette smoking not only negatively influences semen volume and total count, but also increases the amount of DNA fragmentation in the sperm. High levels of DNA fragmentation have been strongly associated with early pregnancy loss, increased miscarriage rate, poor embryo development and abnormalities in the offspring.
The cohort study revealed that alcohol consumption negatively impacted total sperm count along with fertilisation rate and blastocyst development.
The research presented by the Brazilian scientists confirms why it’s so important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially when trying to conceive. Furthermore, it highlights the importance of tests such as the TUNEL assay that provides crucial information about the quality of the DNA inside the sperm.