21 Jan Smoking and Infertility
Smoking and pregnancy don’t go together. Nor does fertility. Men and women both have a lower chance of conceiving if they smoke, and women have a higher chance of miscarriage as well. Furthermore, even secondhand smoke is said to decrease the ovarian reserve. Therefore, it is critical that both parents stop smoking before exploring any fertility treatments.
Smoking can lead to many changes in the body that are detrimental to one’s fertility. In women, smoking leads to ovulation problems and damages the mucosal lining of the cervix and fallopian tubes. These are a few ways smoking can increase the risk of miscarriage and other problems during pregnancy and at birth.
Many studies have shown that smoking decreases the chances of successful fertility treatment. Smokers are less likely to get pregnant with Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedures like IVF; the women undergoing ART are more likely to miscarry if they are smokers. In fact, smokers are more likely to miscarry than other women even if they are not on ART. Studies show that smokers have twice as many failed cycles of ART compared to nonsmokers. Smokers are also more likely to need fertility drugs like Clomid to help with conception.
Even if you don’t smoke, if you are inhaling secondhand smoke, it can put your fertility at risk. Secondhand smoke not only decreases the chances of pregnancy but is also injurious to the fetus if you are pregnant. This is in addition to the harmful effect it has on you as a mother.
Most of the smoking-related harmful effects of fertility are reversible; which means that if you quit smoking your chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby increase. But there can be permanent reproductive health damage after years of smoking.
It is very for you as a wanting-to-be parent to take responsibility and stop smoking. If you have tried seriously and failed, it is necessary to seek professional help. Consult your doctor for recommendations for smoking cessation products and programs that you can avail, and adhere to them and follow up with your doctor to minimize the chance of relapsing.
Your first goal should be to not smoke while you are trying to conceive. If you conceive, that goal should advance to abstaining from smoking throughout pregnancy. And once the baby is born, there is all the more reason to stay abstinent for the sake of your baby’s health. Ultimately, it has innumerable advantages to your health if you stay abstinent all this and carry on that way there onward. Throughout this time, also make sure that you avoid secondhand smoke, as it can still affect your fertility and affect your baby’s health. Babies who live in a household with smokers have higher rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Therefore, it is very important to make these tough choices and try to make a clean, fresh start, for the sake of your family and ultimately for the sake of your own health.