The truth about smoking and small testicles will shock most men. In the article below you’ll discover how tobacco is related to both low testosterone and embarrassing testicular shrinkage.
You already know smoking is terrible for you. It makes you smell bad, screws up your mouth, lips and throat, wrecks your cardiovascular health, and can kill you early via things like cancer and emphysema.
It’s bad news. You knew that part, but for any number of reasons you’re still at it. That’s your choice. We won’t judge.
But did you know smoking is also terrible for your balls?
Some folks will tell you smoking leads directly to smaller testicles. Some of those folks might have been “motivational” speakers who showed up at your middle school to convince you to Just Say No to smoking and other vices.
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And some of them might be people willing to stretch the truth to make a point. But here’s the real skinny on what smoking can do to the function and health of your two little brothers down under.
Smoking Hurts Sperm Production
We’ve known for decades that a woman smoking while pregnant can seriously harm the fetus. That’s why some packages of cigarettes have those terrible pictures of deformed babies on them. But cigarettes can harm the male reproductive system too.
A recent meta-study published in the April, 2016 issue of European Urology looked at 20 studies including a total of 5,000 men of prime reproductive age.
The studies had a variety of methodologies, and were conducted in some of the most prestigious universities in Europe. The results were very clear:
• Smoking decreased sperm count, the amount of sperm your testicles produce,by 23%
• Smoking decreased sperm motility, the degree to which you sperm swim effectively, by 13%
• Smoking decreased sperm morphology, the shape and health of individual sperm, significantly
Some studies have even suggested smoking can damage the DNA in a smoker’s sperm. This can lead to a variety of problems in conception and gestation, including embryo implantation, embryo development, and initial fertilization. It can also increase the chances of miscarriage.
And we’re not even getting into what smoking can do to hormone levels throughout the body, including those responsible for male sexuality and male fertility.
Smoking Damages Leydig Cells
Leydig cells are right there in your testicles, found next to the seminiferous tubules that store your semen.
When your body produces luteinizing hormone (LH), they produce testosterone.
Testosterone is the key hormone for male sexual health and production of sperm. Unhealthy Leydig cells produce less testosterone, which leans less sperm.
Research dating back as far as the mid-nineties shows that smoking damages your Leydig cells, wreaking havoc with testicular health.
For example, in 1995 a team at Tottori University School of Medicine in Yonago, Japan performed biopsies on the left testicles of 49 smokers and 28 nonsmokers, looking particularly at testosterone levels and Leydig cell health in all 77 subjects.
They found a range of alarming trends among the smokers:
• Testosterone levels were significantly reduced in smokers as compared to nonsmokers
• Androgen-binding protein secretion was similarly lower
• Smokers had a higher percentage of misshapen sperm
• Sperm from smokers performed substantially more poorly in tests of sperm function
• Leydig cells in smokers suffered from more and worse secretory dysfunction
Bottom line: smokers have less healthy Leydig cells, which leads to less healthy testicles, which leads to less healthy sperm.
Further studies have taken this clear correlation between smoking and poor Leydig cell health, and gone far to establish causation.
The only good news here comes from a 2015 study at the Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine.
Their results with test mice also found that smoking directly damages Leydig cells, but also discovered that quitting smoking can reverse the damage in as little as twelve weeks.
It often takes longer, but the reversibility of the damage was clearly established.
Smoking Reduces Sex Drive
Before even healthy testicles producing healthy sperm can do you any good, you have to have sex in the first place.
Besides the increasingly common fact that women don’t want to kiss or have sex with people who smoke, cigarettes can also make you less likely to want to have sex by lowering your libido.
Research into reproductive physiology and andrology at Lexington’s University of Kentucky looked at a wide range of sexual functions in terms of how they are impacted by smoking.
The results ranged from bad to terrible across every level of sexuality.
To start with, smoking reduces your cardiovascular capacity. You get out of breath faster, have less endurance, and become less interested in physically intense activities like sex.
It hurts your ability to have sex, which almost always hurts your desire to do so. Smokers have less sex, and less fun while having sex.
In a study of men from their 20s and older, the smokers reported having sex half as often as nonsmokers. They also enjoyed the sex they had less than their nonsmoking counterparts.
In a self-reported survey where they were asked to rate their sexual satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10, the nonsmoking couples averaged 8.7.
Smokers averaged 5.2. According to Dr. Richard Milsten, a New Jersey based urologist, this makes sense because smoking damages the muscles inside the penis, causing weaker erections and lower sexual performance.
As with everybody else in every other aspect of life, poorer performance means wanting to do something less often and enjoying it less when you do it.
Conclusion: Smoking Causes Small, Shrunken Testicles And Low Testosterone
Okay. We might judge a little.
To review: smoking means you’ll have less sex. It means you’ll enjoy the sex less when you do have it. It means damage to your Leydig cells, less sperm production, and lower health in the sperm your body produces.
It can also, you know, kill you.
Research shows again and again how smoking hurts your sexual health, and almost every other aspect of your health.
More recent research also shows that the sooner you stop smoking, the sooner your body will start repairing the damage.
Meaning you will get bigger testicles in weeks.
Seriously, guys. Quit smoking. Today.