We all are well aware of the deteriorating health impact caused by smoking, including cancers, heart disease, etc. However, smoking also has a significant impact on the reproductive health of both men and women. Therefore, in case you are planning to have a child sooner or later in life, smoking can drastically bog down the health of the reproductive system.
Impact of smoking on:
1. Male Fertility
Men who smoke tend to have lower sperm count and sperm motility than those who do not smoke. Some studies even suggest that male smokers are more likely to produce genetically abnormal sperm. If the female partner conceives, the chances of the genetic damage being passed on to the developing baby or putting the pregnancy at risk are quite high. Moreover, smoking can also cause sexual problems like erectile dysfunction, indirectly affecting fertility.
2. Female Fertility
Women who smoke take a longer time to conception than women who do not. They have lower estrogen levels which hamper the development and maturation of eggs. In addition, smoking prevents good ovulation by damaging the fallopian tubes and reducing ovarian reserve, especially in terms of the quality and number of eggs.
3. Women Going Through IVF Treatment
Smoking reduces the success rates of women undergoing IVF treatment to a considerable extent, the reason being, smoking results in vascular problems which hinder the implantation of the embryo into the uterus wall. Therefore, women opting for IVF treatment are advised to stop smoking before starting any fertility treatment.
4. An Unborn Baby
Even if a woman does conceive, other harmful effects of smoking could hinder her chances of conceiving. These effects include reduced birth weight, premature birth, pre-term related deaths, deaths caused by sudden infant death syndrome and increased risk of congenital defects
Furthermore, smoking reduces the development of a healthy reproductive system in the unborn child, which could lead to low fertility in the male / female child in the future. For example, studies show that women who smoked during pregnancy have a higher risk of giving birth to sons with smaller testes and fewer sperm. Babies born to parents who smoke are more likely to develop respiratory infections such as asthma and wheezing.
Quitting smoking might not be easy, but at the same time, it is not always impossible. If you are planning to have a baby, it is not only advisable but also essential, to reduce and possibly quit smoking. It may take a lot of effort and discipline on your part, but nothing can match the joy you feel when you first hold your baby in your arms. For expert advice, consult First Step IVF Clinic.
It's always recommended to take a second opinion with the experts.