Document Type : Original Article


1 Molecular Reproductive & Human Genetics Laboratory, DOS in Zoology, University of Mysore Manasagangothri, Mysore-06, India

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Chamarajanagar Institute of Medical Sciences, Chamarajanagar, Karnataka, India


Background: Smoking damages sperm, making them less likely to fertilize and making the embryos they do manage to create less likely to survive as smoking degrades sperm protein needed for fertility, embryo survival. There exists a strong negative relationship between smoking and fertility due to the fact that genetic material in the sperm can be damaged by the chemicals in cigarette smoke. It is the known fact that smokers take longer to conceive than non-smokers and are more likely to have fertility issues. Even though active smoking affects fertility, passive do not spare. Heavy smokers produce up to 20% fewer sperm than non-smokers. The available data do not conclusively demonstrate that smoking decreases male fertility. However, with much debate for its impact on various semen parameters, it is regarded as an infertility risk factor. Apart from genetic damage we intended to study the membrane integrity of spermatozoa, a main factor in fertilization. Therefore, this study has hunted to assess the relationship between smoking and male infertility by evaluating the semen parameters and the membrane integrity of the spermatozoa by hypo-osmotic swelling test among different subgroups of smoker, as per smoking index and non-smoker infertile males. Methods: Membrane integrity of spermatozoa is analyzed by hypo-osmotic swelling test, a simplest and least expensive assay to assess the functional integrity of sperm-membrane among 204 infertile smokers who were sub grouped depending on the strength of smoking and 30 controls.
Results: Infertile smokers showed decrease membrane integrity among asthenospermia, teratozoospermia, asthenoteratozoospermia, and oligospermic compared to infertile non-smokers with a significant variation (P<0.05) among the different subgroups and also with control group.
Conclusion: Hypo-osmotic swelling test is an important tool for assessing the extent membrane damage caused by smoking resulting in severity of infertility.


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