Smoking has been linked with many adverse health conditions, including pregnancy. Have you been trying to conceive for quite some time but not yet successful? You are ready to conceive, but your body may not be! While you are trying to conceive, look deeply into your lifestyle. Are you or your spouse a smoker? If yes, you may need to consider quitting smoking right away to start your family!
How smoking aﬀects female fertility?
Many women are not aware of the negative eﬀects that smoking has on the reproductive organs.
- Ovulation problems
- Premature menopause
- Damage to reproductive organs
- Risk of miscarriage
Besides reducing the quality of your eggs, smoking also damages your uterus. Women who smoke face problems with ovulation, which greatly reduces the female fertility. There is suﬃcient evidence that women who smoke are at much higher risk of infertility compared with those who don’t. Smoking reduces fertility by decreasing ovarian function and reducing ovarian reserve. Smoking is also known to disrupt the intricate balance of female hormone level cycle, which can also result in menstrual irregularities and infertility. Not only this, smoking can also target the uterine tube and uterus. In fact, the chemicals in cigarette smoke can alter the process of conception and result in higher risk of ectopic pregnancies, longer times to conception, and infertility. Even among women who undergo in-vitro fertilization, the uterine environment among those who smoke is more hostile, reducing the chances of pregnancy, compared to those who don’t smoke. Smoking may also result in ovarian cancer.
What happens if a woman smokes during pregnancy?
There are numerous risks of smoking during pregnancy, apart from causing the health damage to the unborn child. Smoking may lead to Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) and low birth weight (<2500g). Smoking in pregnancy also increases the risk of preterm delivery. Other adverse pregnancy outcomes linked to smoking are miscarriage (spontaneous abortion) and stillbirth. Smoking during pregnancy aﬀects children even after birth. Sudden infant death syndrome is two to four times more common in infants born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy. Cognitive deﬁcits and developmental problems in childhood are also linked to maternal smoking during pregnancy. Smoking also increases the risks of many pregnancy-related complications, such as preterm labour.
These complications are also documented in pregnant women who are exposed to second hand smoke at home / workplace. 39% of Indian women in reproductive age are exposed to Second Hand Smoke at home, putting them at risk during pregnancy.
Taking care of your child begins at conception. There are many lifestyle choices, including smoking cessation, that you and your husband should make to ensure a healthy pregnancy outcome. Smoking, active or passive, while pregnant can have a detrimental eﬀect on your child …. quit today!
DISCLAIMER: "The scientiﬁc/technical content contained herein is for educational purpose only. Please consult a Registered Medical Practitioners for appropriate diagnosis and treatment."
- Sharma R et al. Lifestyle factors and reproductive health: taking control of your Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2013;11:66.
- Mostafa Cigarette smoking and male infertility. Journal of advanced Research. 2010;1(3):179-186.
- The Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2017