Women who smoke during pregnancy could harm their unborn son’s fertility, more so than if their son smokes in later life, scientists have discovered.
Smoking during pregnancy can interfere with a baby’s natural development and lead to reduced sperm counts in children, according to the review by Professor Richard Sharpe, one of Britain’s leading reproductive biologists. The review also suggested that exposure to smoking, pesticides and travel pollution can cause more damage in the first weeks of life inside the womb, than any lifestyle effects after the child is born.
The Professor fears that although damage done in adult life can sometimes be undone by breaking bad habits, damage done in the womb may be permanent.
“This review reminds us that the sperm production capacity of men is probably established quite early in life and perhaps even before they are born,” male fertility expert, Dr Allan Pacey, told the Daily Mail. “This highlights the importance of women having healthy pregnancies and not exposing their baby to harmful chemicals, such as cigarette smoke.”