How does smoking affect female fertility?
There is no safe limit for smoking, the only way to protect yourself and your unborn baby from harm is to quit.
We recently wrote an article about some of the negative effects of smoking on male fertility (and therefore female fertility of course). In this follow-up article we would like to outline some of the very important reasons you should quit smoking - well before trying to conceive.
Men and women who smoke take longer to get pregnant than non-smokers. The chemicals in cigarettes can cause damage to eggs (and sperm) which affects a future child's health.
Some interesting points include:
The DNA in eggs is negatively affected by smoking;
Smoking seriously affect women’s hormone production, causing imbalances and fertility related issues;
Smoking affects the fertilised egg’s ability to reach the uterus;
Smoking negatively changes the environment inside the uterus, where the baby grows;
Women who smoke in pregnancy are more likely than non-smokers to have a miscarriage;
Women who smoke are more likely to have babies with low birth weight, born prematurely and have birth defects;
Smoking increases problems with the fallopian tubes, including blockages (preventing egg and sperm from meeting) and an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy;
Smoking can cause cervical changes, specifically an increased risk of developing cervical cancer;
Smoking may shorten your biological clock (premature aging of the ovaries);
Smoking causes a host of risks of birth defects to the unborn child.
Smoking may even be correlated with a decrease of your children’s fertility! Talk about long lasting negative effects.
We hope this short list is enough to convince even long-time smokers to put in their best efforts to quit smoking, well before attempting to conceive.
But, if this list isn’t sufficient to help you give serious thought to quitting smoking, consider this: Do you want to see your child graduate high school, or be around to meet your grandchildren? Smoking can significantly shorten your lifespan.
Our acupuncture and TCM treatments help treat an array of fertility and non-fertility related matters. In addition, our naturopathic doctor may be able to assist you to finally kick the smoking habit.