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Can Smoking Affect Fertility & Pregnancy?

Can Smoking Affect Fertility & Pregnancy?

Smoking (active/passive) is bad because it releases many ingredients which can harm your body. It is said that a cigarette smoke releases as many as 7000 toxic substances. Smoking causes osteoporosis, heart disease, 90% of deaths from lung cancer, 80% of deaths from COPD (severe lung disease) and 17% of deaths from stroke. So it goes without saying that it is extremely harmful for the body and there is no safe way to smoke. Besides this, smoking can affect your fertility and drastically reduce your chance of becoming pregnant.

Smoking affects women more adversely than men:

  • Smoking can damage the ovaries: Compared to men, a woman’s reproduction is more affected by smoking because men produce sperms throughout their lives whereas women are born with their eggs so exposure to cigarette smoke creates problems in those set of eggs which one cannot change by any means. The toxins can also damage the ovaries of the developing, yet to be born female child because a girl is born with her set of eggs. The male reproduction also suffers due to smoking leading to poor quality semen, poor count and erectile dysfunction also.

  • Smoking can cause damage to the reproductive organs and lead to ovulation (egg formation) problems: Damage to your eggs can cause premature menopause means that your body will stop producing the female hormones 1 or 2 years earlier than in non-smokers leading to all problems of menopause.
  • Genetic abnormalities can occur in the body: Because the toxins in the smoke carry a very high risk to cause damage to the DNA in both the eggs and the sperms. This leads to the risk of infertility / abortions /malformations in the baby, preterm or low birth weight babies.
  • Risk of pregnancy abortion & other high risk complications: Even if a smoker is able to conceive, there is an increased risk of abortions/ ectopic pregnancy/ placental problems like a low lying placenta / abruption placenta. The medical problems complicating pregnancy also increase with smoking. Sometimes the baby born to a smoker can die suddenly during sleep, a condition known as SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
  • Increases cancer risk: It goes without saying that risk of cancer and other medical problems are always there.
  • Passive smoking can affect you: It can be just as detrimental and as damaging as your own smoking. It will hamper the fertility of both you and your partner. So encourage your loved one to quit smoking immediately. It will be good for you, your partner and your babies.

So if you are a smoker and want to be pregnant quit now it will save your pregnancy as well as all the complications discussed above. Studies show that your chances of conceiving get better after 2 months of quitting smoking. The good news is that all the mentioned risks start dropping down the minute to quit smoking, so do it now!

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