Effects of tobacco chewing habits on male infertility
Keywords:Azoospermia, Male infertility, OATS, Semen parameters, Tobacco chewing
Background: It is the fact that, India consists of world’s largest tobacco chewer population, more prevalent in low income group. The effects of tobacco chewing on semen parameters have been widely studied. The study aim is to analyze the semen analysis parameters (oligozoospermia, asthenozoospermia, teratozoospermia, oligo-astheno-teratozoospermia -OATS and azoospermia) of tobacco chewer and non chewer infertile patients.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of 639 patients was done out of which 150 were non-chewers and 489 were tobacco chewers. The percentage of population with particular semen abnormalities were compared between the two groups. The same comparison was performed between tobacco chewing primary infertility and secondary infertility patients in order to specifically assess the effect of tobacco chewing in sub-fertile patients.
Results: OATS and azoospermia cases were significantly higher in the tobacco chewing infertile patients as compared to oligozoospermia, asthenozoospermia and teratozoospermia cases. In case of sub-fertile patients also, the percentage of OATS and azoospermia were significantly higher.
Conclusions: This finding suggest that tobacco chewing greatly affects every parameter of sperm i.e. concentration, motility and morphology collectively. Moreover, tobacco chewing may be less affecting the male fertility initially but prolonged exposures affects detrimentally resulting in serious semen parameter abnormalities such as OATS and even azoospermia. And such cases are difficult to treat even with higher and advanced infertility treatment options like ICSI, microfludics, etc. This reduces the chances of IVF success as well as increases the financial burden on the patients undergoing infertility treatment. Thus, infertility clinics must employ awareness programs for such patients to explain them the effects of tobacco chewing habit and reducing it can definitely enhance the treatment outcomes.
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