Semen quality of male smokers and nonsmokers in infertile couples

Fertil Steril. 2003 Feb;79(2):287-91. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(02)04664-2.


Objective: To investigate the effect of cigarette smoking on main sperm variables.

Design: Cohort study.

Setting: Men attending the andrology laboratory in the context of infertility investigation in the couple.

Patient(s): Eight hundred thirty-nine smokers and 1,266 non-smokers were enrolled; 655 smokers and 1,131 nonsmokers fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were compared. Standard clinical analysis of semen.

Result(s): Cigarette smoking was associated with a significant decrease in sperm density (-15.3%), total sperm count (-17.5%), total number of motile sperm (-16.6%), and citrate concentration (-22.4%). The percentage of normal forms was significantly reduced in smokers, and sperm vitality, ejaculate volume, and fructose concentration were slightly but nonsignificantly affected.

Conclusion(s): Cigarette smoking is associated with reduced semen quality.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Citrates / analysis
  • Cohort Studies
  • Ejaculation
  • Female
  • Fructose / analysis
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Semen / physiology*
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Sperm Count*
  • Sperm Motility*


  • Citrates
  • Fructose