Smoking is the largest cause of preventable death in the world. Smoking causes 90% of all deaths from lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It increases the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, several types of cancer, infertility, stillbirth, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), osteoporosis, and premature skin aging (wrinkles). Even second-hand smoke is dangerous for health.
Cigarette smoking can cause infertility.
If you are a smoker and are trying to get pregnant, stop smoking now. Quitting may be one of the best things you can do for your health, for family and for your fertility.
Smokers are more likely to have fertility problems than non smokers. If you smoke for many years, or smoke many cigarettes per day, your risk for fertility problems is increased. When you smoke, more than 7000 chemicals spread throughout your entire body and all of your organs.
In females smoking can lead to fertility problems, including the following:
• Ovulation problems
• Genetic issues
• Damage to your reproductive organs
• Damage to eggs or premature menopause
• Increased risk of cancer and increased risk of miscarriage
In males Men that smoke are at an increased risk for the following male fertility problems:
• Lower sperm count and sperm motility problems
• Hormonal issues
• Erectile dysfunction - trouble getting or maintaining an erection
In addition, smokers that try fertility treatments tend to take long time to conceive. If you are trying to get pregnant without success and your partner smokes, encourage him to quit. The sooner he quits, the sooner you may be able to conceive.
Here are the few important questions and answers that need to be considered and understood by the persons smoking.
"The best way to protect your fertility is to give up smoking."
Can smoking affect my ability to have a child?
Most people understand that smoking increases the risk for heart, vascular, and lung disease. Many do not realize that smoking can also lead to problems with fertility in both men and women. Sperm count, Erectile dysfunction and pregnancy complication rates increases with smoking.
Will smoking affect my eggs or sperm?
Chemicals (such as nicotine, cyanide, and carbon monoxide) in cigarette smoke speed up the loss rate of eggs. Unfortunately, once eggs die off, they cannot be regenerated or replaced. This means that menopause occurs 1 to 4 years earlier in women who smoke (compared with non-smokers). Male smokers can suffer decreased sperm quality with lower counts (numbers of sperm) and motility (sperm’s ability to move) and increased numbers of abnormally shaped sperm. Smoking might also decrease the sperm’s ability to fertilize eggs.
How can smoking impact my ability to conceive?
Women who smoke do not conceive as efficiently as non smokers. Infertility rates in both male and female smokers are about twice the rate of infertility found in non smokers. The risk for fertility problems increases with the number of cigarettes smoked daily. Even fertility treatments such as IVF may not be able to fully overcome smoking’s effects on fertility. Female smokers need more ovary-stimulating medications during IVF and still have fewer eggs at retrieval time and have 30% lower pregnancy rates compared with IVF patients who do not smoke.
Does second hand smoke of partner have effect on fertility?
Second-hand smoke can affect your fertility. If you live with a smoker, encourage your loved one to stop. Second-hand smoke exposes you to poisonous chemicals, affecting your fertility. In fact, fertility experts say that second hand smoke is almost as damaging to your fertility as if you were smoking yourself! Exposure to cigarette smoke for even just a few days can affect your health and your fertility. Second-hand smoke is also a known cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). If you do become pregnant, you and your partner must stop smoking to protect the health of your baby.
If I stop smoking, will my chances for conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy improve?
Yes. Quitting smoking can improve fertility though the decrease of the egg supply cannot be reversed. The rate of pregnancy complications due to smoking decreases, the longer a person has not smoked.
Can smoking affect my children?
Men whose mothers smoked half a pack of cigarettes (or more) a day had lower sperm counts. Smoking during pregnancy also can lead to growth restriction of the baby before birth. Children born with lower-than expected birth weights are at higher risk for medical problems later in life (such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease). Children whose parents smoke are at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and for developing asthma.
Quitting smoking can be very, very difficult but studies show that the chance for success is much higher if you work with your health-care provider and/or a support group. Sometimes, temporary use of a nicotine replacement (such as nicotine gum or patch) and/or prescription medication can improve quitting smoking rates, and you can use these while trying to conceive, if needed. Though it generally isn’t advised to use these during pregnancy, you and your health-care provider might consider their use during pregnancy after weighing the risks and benefits.
The facts about smoking and fertility
Smokers take longer to conceive than non-smokers and are more likely to have fertility problems. While smoking can lead to some long-term fertility damage, studies have also shown that fertility rates can improve after one year of quitting.
Some women may be tempted to keep smoking until they get pregnant. However, it's best for you and your future baby if you quit before you achieve pregnancy. It'll improve your chances of conceiving, be easier on your body, healthier for your baby, and lower the risk of miscarrying the pregnancy before you've even had a chance to give up smoking. The take-home message for young women is that smoking irreversibly damages an irreplaceable population of ovarian cells. Numerous studies had identified specific effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy, including foetal growth retardation, neonatal deaths, pregnancy complications, premature delivery and possible effects on lactation and long-term effects on surviving children.
Further, there have been indications that smoking decreases fertility in women increases the frequency of menstrual abnormalities and decreases the age of spontaneous menopause. In males, it has been suggested that cigarette smoking negatively affects every system involved in the reproductive process. Spermatozoa from smokers have reduced fertilising capacity, and embryos display lower implantation rates.
If your partner is also a smoker, it's best to quit together, and there are many good reasons to do so. Dropping the habit together will increase your chances of successfully quitting, too.
Fertility often improves for women after they stop smoking. Studies show that female smokers can increase their chances of conceiving by quitting at least two months before trying to get pregnant. Quit smoking and you may just find it easier to get pregnant. In conclusion, although smokers as a group may not experience reduced fertility, males with marginal semen quality may benefit from quitting smoking. Also, smokers should quit smoking for the sense of responsibility for their future generation as tobacco smoke contains numerous mutagenic substances.
The best way to protect your fertility is to give up smoking. Despite these warnings, millions of women of childbearing age still continue to smoke. By doing so, they risk their own health and the health of their babies and put the family building at stake.
It’s in the interest of the family that couple makes healthy choices for themselves, their partners, and their future children. Rupal Hospital is dedicated to provide the highest quality of services in women’s health. It is the result of years of experience, knowledge, understanding and constant updating and effort that has made the Rupal Hospital the best amongst all. Doctors at Rupal Hospital take keen interest in public health education. We believe that preventive interventions are equally important as curative medicine, and prevention always requires awareness and educations. We conduct several workshops and seminars that will improve the health being of couples and in turn will help them to attain pregnancy.