Dr Manika Khanna
We all know that smoking, direct or passive, is highly injurious to one’s health but did you know it has hazardous effects on one’s fertility as well? The side effects of smoking are not only restricted to the one who smokes but are also passed on to the people around the smoker. If a couple is planning for pregnancy, then it is very important for the woman to stay away from the damaging smoke as it can cause fertility issues and birth defects in the baby. Before planning a pregnancy, one must consult Doctor to know about the risks and side effects of smoking on both male and female partners.
Side effects of Smoking in Women:
< Smoking majorly contributes to fertility issues like ovulation problems, genetic problems, hormonal issues, embryo transport, damage to the DNA in eggs and sperms etc.
< Smoking causes high risk of complications like birth defects, preterm labor and ectopic pregnancy.
< Women who smoke have higher possibilities of miscarriage than non
< smokers. The presence of toxic substances affects on the uterus and also on the growth of foetus negatively. Smoking has bad effects on both the health of the mother and the baby.
< Smoking among females may cause a problem in their fallopian tubes where fertilization occur. It can cause difficulty in conceiving.
< Smoking causes premature ageing of the eggs which can lead to an early menopause. Women who smoke tend to reach menopause two years earlier than the non smokers and the ones affected by passive smoking reach more than a year earlier.
<The toxic material in cigarettes cancause cervical cancer in women.
Side Effects of Smoking in Men:
< Smoking leads to decrease in the amount of sperms men thus lowering their sperm count.
< It can alter the sperm morphology (shape of the sperm). With an abnormal shape, the sperm cannot swim efficiently.
<Smoking leads to increase in the amount of sperms in men thus lowering their sperm count.
< It leads to abnormal hormone levels.
<It can cause Erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction creates difficulty in attaining or holding an erection.
Effects of Smoking on Pregnancy:
Smoking leads to infertility since it damages the reproductive system. If a woman wishes to pregnant she should quit smoking to prepare her body and increase her chances of conceiving. The women who stop smoking prior to their pregnancy have low risks of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy and high chances of delivering a healthy baby.
Passive smoking is equally dangerous as the harmful effects can be transferred, so the male partner must also quit. Passive smoking can lower the fertility, can increase the chances of miscarriage and can cause birth defects in the unborn baby.
Smoking has hazardous effects on the sperms and eggs leading to male and female infertility. It also interferes in the fertility treatments and on the health of the unborn baby. Quitting is the best option one can opt for their fertility, health and for the health of their child.
Dr. Manika Khanna is renowned IVF Specialist of India