Smoking and Fertility - A Guide to Stop Smoking
Smoking has an adverse affect on pregnancy but it is also harmful pre-pregnancy. It affects both partners and makes it harder to conceive so think about this if you are trying for a baby.
It reduces fertility levels in both men and women which unfortunately, increase the chance of one or both of you becoming infertile. And, if you were born to mothers who smoked then this also reduces your chances of conceiving.
And, even worse, it reduces the likelihood of a successful IVF cycle.
Smoking affects fertility in both men and women but in different ways.
Smoking and female fertility
Women who smoke are at increased risk of miscarriage or damaged ovaries as a result of the toxins in cigarette smoke. Smoking can also cause menstrual irregularities and anovulation (failure to ovulate) which are both causes of infertility.
It can also prevent the ability of the egg to travel from the Fallopian tubes to the womb in order to implant itself. This normally results in a pregnancy but smoking can disrupt the likelihood of this occurring.
And there is also the risk of cancer. Smoking causes a whole range of cancers which includes cervical cancer. This type of cancer affects the cervix (uterus) which can often only be treated with surgery. This means the removal of the cervix and sometimes the ovaries which can be a life saver but the kiss of death to any hopes of pregnancy. If you are a woman of childbearing age who also smokes then seriously think about giving up.
Smoking and male fertility
The main problem for men is that of impaired sperm production. Smoking affects both the quantity and quality of sperm and their movement. Sperm are vital for fertilisation but only healthy sperm can successfully do this. Weakened sperm or a lower volume of sperm reduces the chances of fertilisation and, the chance of a successful pregnancy.
Smoking also damages the blood vessels leading to the penis which can result in erectile dysfunction and other erection problems. It can even lead to impotence.
So, if you and your partner are trying to conceive and one (or both of you smokes) then this will limit your chances of doing so. It is better for both of you, and hopefully your baby, if you stop smoking.
Giving up will improve your fertility and your overall health.
If you want to stop smoking but don’t know where to begin then visit our Stopping Smoking section.
Problems with smoking - Guide to Stop Smoking Index:
Stop Smoking Guide
- How to Stop Smoking
- About smoking
- Problems with smoking
- Passive smoking
- Young people and smoking
- Schools’ Anti-Smoking Policies
- Stopping smoking
- The smoking ban
- Exemptions to the smoking ban
- Stop Smoking FAQs
- Stop Smoking Glossary