Smoking and Fertility - an Unhealthy Relationship

According to the data provided by World Health Organization (WHO), one in four couples in developed countries might be infertile. Other calculations show that one in six couples (10-15%) might encounter fertility issues one way or another. Also, 10-25% of females might suffer from secondarity infertility, the inability to get pregnant after the first birth. The current research shows that smoking has negative effects on female reproductive function. Women who are planning their pregnancy should quit smoking altogether.

Evidence shows that smokers (both male and female) encounter fertility problems more often than non-smokers. The risk of infertility for smokers increases progressively along with prolonged addiction and amounts of tobacco products consumed. If one is an avid smoker, the risk increases. Cigarette smoke contains over 4000 different chemicals with over 40 of them being known carcinogens. Some of these carcinogens accumulate in the cervical mucus, which might inhibit patient’s immune system in the cervix.

Smoking also can negatively affect in vitro fertilization, lowering the chance of a succesful pregnancy. Even then, if pregnancy is succesful, there is a higher possibility of potential health problems in the baby. Smoking also increases the chance of miscarriage by 25% and the risk of ectopic pregnancy by 1.5 to 2.5 times. If, by chance, your significant other is a smoker, it is highly recommended for them to quit the habit. Second-hand smoke is highly dangerous, as much as the smoking habit itself, and can damage your fertility potential. Only a couple of days with or near a smoker is enough to cause some damage to your health and fertility.

Cigarette toxins can increase the chance of miscarriage, which can be a severely traumatizing event to the mother. Besides that, the chance of ectopic pregnancy also increases. Even then, millions of pregnant women continue to smoke, thus risking their and their children health.

The possibility of conception increases after quitting smoking. Data shows that there is a significant increase in potential pregnancy within 2 months of quitting smoking. If you’re considering pregnancy, it is crucial to think about your smoking habit. Smoking negatively affects your reproduction system, your mental health and physical health. If you’ve decided to quit the habit, the best time is now, not tomorrow or “the next Monday”.


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