Smoking and Fertility: Smoking effects on male fertility | Smoking effects on female fertility

Smoking has been linked to many adverse health conditions. There are many people who are addicted to smoking and do not have the will power to give it up. Call it weak will or just the comfort of having something to do when they need an excuse. What does smoking have to do with fertility you might wonder? As long as everything is well, it isn’t of much concern, but when infertility becomes an issue, then smoking comes in the limelight as a possible cause for both male infertility as well as female infertility. When either of the partners smokes, it takes much longer to conceive.

Smoking effects on male fertility

It has become common knowledge that smoking reduces sperm count. Male infertility due to low sperm count is on the rise and smoking is one of the main causes. Even men who are exposed to second-hand smoke are affected by it. A common misconception among people is that as long as they do not smoke, they are fine. They take little or no precaution to stay away from second-hand smoke.

Smoking also affects sperm motility. The motility of sperm is its ability to swim to the fallopian tubes of the female partner and penetrate the egg. The sperms become weak and are no longer able to perform this task and hence, it leads to male infertility. The one problem that most men dread is erectile dysfunction. Smoking is one of the causes of not being able to maintain an erection. If that is not enough, smoking also causes hormonal problems in men.

Smoking effects on female fertility

Many women are not aware of the negative effects that smoking has on their reproductive organs. Besides reducing the quality of your eggs, smoking also damages your uterus. Women who smoke face problems with ovulation, which greatly reduces female fertility.

Smoking and pregnancy

The unfortunate part about smoking is that it affects every stage of pregnancy starting at egg maturation to embryo transport and the environment of the uterus. The baby suffers a high risk of birth defects in smoking women.

A miscarriage is devastating for expecting parents. Women who smoke are at high risk for miscarriage. This is due to the adverse effects of smoking on the female reproductive organs, including the uterus, which is not able to support the pregnancy.

Premature menopause

Most women would like to try and keep menopause at bay for as long as they can. Some women even go to the extent of taking hormonal injections (though there are health implications associated with it). What many women do not realise is that smoking leads to premature menopause.

Improve fertility by quitting smoking 

You can improve your fertility if you quit smoking. The adverse effects of smoking on fertility can be reduced to some extent when you totally stop smoking. It may take a year or longer for this process. Reducing the number of cigarettes your smoke will not help much. You need to stop smoking and stay away from other people who smoke too. Second-hand smoke is also bad for your fertility.

Many couples with male fertility or female fertility issues resort to fertility treatments when they are planning a family. Fertility treatments may not be able to help with the various side effects of smoking. The success rate of IVF treatment on couples who smoke or even if either partner smokes is reduced considerably. Couples need to consider not just the fertility issue but also the harmful effects on the unborn child that are caused due to smoking.