Men and women who smoke face more difficulties in getting pregnant than non-smokers. Second-hand smoke is almost as scathing as smoking and women who are exposed to second-hand smoke take longer to conceive than women who are not. The chemicals in cigarettes can cause harm to eggs and sperm which influences a future child’s health.
Impact of Smoking on Male Infertility
Men, who smoke, lead to having a lower sperm count and sperm health than those who do not. Some studies even suggest that male smokers are more likely to deliver sperm that are genetically abnormal. If the female partner does superfetate, the risks of the genetic damage passing on to the developing baby or posing a risk to the pregnancy are quite high.
Smoking (including second-hand smoke) can also cause sexual difficulties like erectile dysfunction, indirectly affecting fertility.
Impact of Smoking on Female Infertility
Women, who smoke, take longer to conceive as compared to women who do not. They have lower estrogen levels which hinder the development and maturation of the eggs. Smoking is known to block proper ovulation by damaging the fallopian tubes and reducing the ovarian reserve, particularly in terms of egg quality and count.
Impact of Smoking on an Unborn Baby
Even if a woman succeeds in conceiving, other harmful effects of smoking might hinder her baby’s health. These consequences include:
- Low birth weight
- Premature birth
- Pre-term related deaths
- Deaths caused by sudden infant death syndrome
- Increased risk of congenital defects
Impact of Quitting Smoking
- Natural Fertility within a year
- Women who quit smoking before conception or within the first trimester of pregnancy reduce the risks of their baby being born prematurely
- Men must be required to De-addict themselves before planning a baby
Quitting smoking may not be simple but at the same time, it is not impossible. If you are planning to have a baby, it is not only desirable but crucial that you cut back and eventually stop smoking. It may demand a lot of effort and discipline from your end but nothing can match up to the joy that you undergo when you hold your baby in your arms for the first time without any external procedures.