Fewer and weaker sperm cells from e-cigarettes

Unsere Kinderwunsch-ExpertInnen warnen

The research results of a recent Danish study show that men who smoke e-cigarettes every day produce fewer and more immobile sperm cells than non-smokers [1].

Thus "electronic" smoking makes it very difficult to achieve pregnancy. Science has long known that smoking tobacco cigarettes also drastically reduces semen production. Prof. Andreas Obruca and Prof. Heinz Strohmer, our medical directors of the Kinderwunschzentrum an der Wien, advise: “Couples who want to have children should stop smoking completely. The only alternative is not to smoke. "

Many smokers switch to the electronic cigarettes, believing that it is less harmful than the tobacco cigarettes. A fallacy when it comes to fertility - a research team from the University of Copenhagen has now proven. For this purpose, the sperm cells of 2008 men were regularly examined for quality and quantity within five years. Around half of the men (52%) were cigarette smokers, 13% consumed e-cigarettes. The men were on average 19 years old - all of them at a very “fertile” age.

E-cigarettes are not an alternative if you want to have children

Compared to non-smokers, e-cigarette users had significantly lower total sperm counts (147 million versus 91 million), as did daily cigarette smokers (139 million versus 103 million). In addition to lower sperm production, smoking also affects the quality of the sperm cells. The study showed a decrease in sperm density and a reduced mobility of the sperm cells. According to study results, men who smoke e-cigarettes produce less and slower sperm than non-smokers. “Whether or not a pregnancy occurs depends heavily on the couple's lifestyle. This confirms that switching from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes is not a solution if you want to become a father, ”said Prof. Heinz Strohmer.

Currently 10-15% of all couples deal with infertility

Men hardly concern themselves with the issue of their own fertility. The desire to have children can, however, develop into a psychological burden for couples. "55.1% of the causes of unwanted childlessness are in the man, 14.8% in the woman and in 30.1% of the cases in both partners," explains Prof. Andreas Obruca, our medical director and president of the IVF Society. Reproductive medicine often helps here. In 2018, a total of around 16,300 IVF treatments were carried out in Austria, including almost 11,000 that were supported by the IVF Fund - that is 50% more than ten years ago.


[1] Stine Agergaard Holmboe, Lærke Priskorn, Tina Kold Jensen, Niels Erik Skakkebaek, Anna-Maria Andersson, Niels Jørgensen, Use of e-cigarettes associated with lower sperm counts in a cross-sectional study of young men from the general population, Human Reproduction, Online: https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/deaa089

Are you an (e-)smoker and want to check your sperm quality?

Then make an appointment for the semen analysis - our team will be happy to advise you and answer all your questions.