While there are frequently many things that a couple can do to improve their fertility, one of the most clearcut is cessation of smoking. Research performed over the last 50 years has clearly shown that smoking cigarettes reduces both male and female fertility.
Women: Smoking, and Fertility
- Smoking damages the lining of the uterus, making it more difficult for an embryo to implant and grow.
- Cigarette smoking leads to a 67% higher chance of having abnormal bleeding, and brings on menopause sooner.
- Fallopian tube function is altered by smoking, resulting in poor transport of sperm, eggs, and embryos.
- In women undergoing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), the number of follicles, retrieved eggs, and embryos are lower in smokers than in nonsmokers. Pregnancy rates are much lower among smokers, and the miscarriage rate is twice that of nonsmokers.
- The risk of a tubal pregnancy is twice as high among cigarette smokers than in nonsmokers.
- Smoking during pregnancy is associated with an overall increase in perinatal mortality. There is a far greater risk of a low birthweight infant, and a greater risk of several congenital abnormalities such as cleft palate.
Men: Smoking, and Fertility
- Smoking and other types of tobacco use is linked to low sperm counts and poor binding of the sperm to the egg.
- Men who smoke have more erectile dysfunction than nonsmokers.
- Smoking cigarettes by the male will produce a higher miscarriage rate.
If you are a cigarette smoker and wish to reduce or quit smoking, ask us about treatment options that can help.