About 10 percent of men who come for infertility treatment are active tobacco users, says the latest shocking report of a fertility clinic.
‘The foremost advice we give them is to quit smoking,’ said the medical director, Nova IVI Fertility Clinic, Chennai, Dr. Manish Banker.
Every year, 31 May is observed as ‘World No Tobacco Day’. As per World Health Organization (WHO), India has the second largest number of tobacco users and every year the country loses nearly 10 lakh people due to tobacco-related ailments.
Though numerous awareness campaigns conducted people still use tobacco unmindful of the consequences. The banker said, ‘The ill-effects of tobacco usage are many and its impact on fertility potential is not surprising. Smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco causes the release of compounds such as nicotine and cotinine into the human body which, in turn, when interacting with the tests can affect the production and quality of sperms.’
He also said there is a direct proportion of tobacco usage to low sperm count, altered sperm motility and morphology and hormonal imbalance in men. The heavy smokers are even found to have sperms with damaged DNA that leads to higher incidence of miscarriage.
When talking about the latest report, the doctor said, ‘About 10 percent of men who come for infertility treatment are active tobacco users and the foremost advice given to them is to quit smoking.’
But he added that ‘It is possible to significantly improve the sperm parameters within three months of quitting the habit of smoking.’
An NGO worker, Shanmugam, who conducts awareness campaigns on eradicating tobacco usage, said, ‘Our team mainly involves in counseling juveniles and under-aged smokers since 10 percent of minors in India involves in smoking. Apart from men, there are also women chain smokers to whom we give counseling by asking them to practice proper exercises.’
The process of counseling by the NGO, Vizhithezhu Nanba, involves psychological training in order to give mental peace and then involving them in yoga practice. Some are even associated with craft work here, he said.
‘World No Tobacco Day’ should remind us of the harm associated with tobacco usage and as a day to re-affirm ourselves about this commitment to eradicate tobacco use, he said.
* More than 6 million people died in 2016.
* One death occurs every 6 seconds
* Smokers start early. Those in the age group of 15-18 make up 22 percent of smokers in the world, says WHO.
* Chennai NGO Vizhithezhu Nanba focuses on the juveniles and counsels them. It says 10 per cent of smokers in India are minors.
WHO report says 84 percent of smokers who go for counseling kick the butt.
Nova IVI Fertility Clinic medical director Manish Banker says a smoker’s fertility can be corrected in three months of his giving up the habit.