E-cigarettes ‘may harm men’s fertility’

E-cigarettes ‘may harm men’s fertility’: Vaping listed alongside smoking, steroids and drinking as factors affecting reproductive health in UK health warning first

  • Vaping could harm men’s fertility, UK public health campaign warns
  • E-cigarettes are listed as factors influencing the health and fertility of men’s testicles alongside smoking, steroid use, and drinking too much.
  • British Fertility Society also warned men against using a laptop on their lap



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Vaping can harm men’s fertility, a UK public health campaign first warned.

E-cigarettes are listed alongside smoking, steroid use, and drinking too much as factors that affect the health and fertility of men’s testicles.

The British Fertility Society has also warned men against using a laptop directly on their lap and taking very long hot baths, as the testicles need to stay cool for optimal sperm production.

A huge drop in sperm count in recent decades is believed to be partly caused by lifestyle changes.

Vaping could harm men's fertility, UK public health campaign warned for the first time (file photo)

Vaping could harm men’s fertility, UK public health campaign warned for the first time (file photo)

In 2020, a Danish study found that men who vaped had lower sperm counts, while a previous study from University College London found that chemicals in e-cigarette flavors could make sperm slower swimmers.

Kevin McEleny, a male fertility specialist from the University of Newcastle who helped develop the BFS campaign, said: ‘We know that e-cigarette flavors can be toxic to sperm. There are real concerns about the effect of these devices on male fertility, as they don’t undergo the same rigorous controls as drugs. I definitely tell men undergoing IVF not to vape if at all possible, although smoking cigarettes will probably be worse.”

dr. Raj Mathur, of the British Fertility Society, said: “While we don’t yet have large-scale data on its effects on human fertility, from that point of view it makes sense to avoid vaping.”

The devices were previously associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, lung disease and erectile dysfunction.

E-cigarettes are listed alongside smoking, steroid use, and drinking too much as factors influencing men's testicular health and fertility (file photo)

E-cigarettes are listed alongside smoking, steroid use, and drinking too much as factors influencing men's testicular health and fertility (file photo)

E-cigarettes are listed alongside smoking, steroid use, and drinking too much as factors influencing men’s testicular health and fertility (file photo)

The new evidence is worrying, as poorer sperm production is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

It comes as England appears to be the first country in the world to provide prescription e-cigarettes to help smokers quit.

John Dunne of the UK Vaping Industry Association claimed the BFS campaign could have ‘serious and dangerous public health implications’ as vaping helped smokers quit smoking.

He said there was a “wide range” of things, such as alcohol, that affect the “delicate balance of male fertility.”

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