Impact of Smoking on Fertility

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.



How obesity affects fertility

What is obesity?

Generally, a person whose BMI is between 18.5 to 24.9 is considered as overweight & above 24.9 is considered as obese.

Obesity affects fertility. It reduces your chances of becoming parents –
1. Obesity changes hormones in your body. It interferes with ovulation. Hormonal imbalance is one of the major factors of infertility.
2. Obesity may cause type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure causing infertility in both men & women
3. Obesity affects a woman’s menstrual cycle & the quality of her eggs. Similarly, it affects the men’s quality & mobility of sperms. It can also lead to problems related to erection.
4. It may lower the chances of getting pregnant by other assisted fertility treatments. It increases the risk of miscarriage & premature birth

What to do to prevent obesity?
Certain lifestyle modifications like healthy food consumption,150 minutes of walking & an active lifestyle can surely prevent you from obesity.


Why do people hesitate to go for IVF treatment?

There are many couples in India who are facing infertility issues but hesitate to seek medical help. Let’s discuss the problem in detail –

1. Woman under the age of 35 & the couple is trying for more than a year.
2. The couple has known infertility & unknown infertility issues.
3. The couple has other serious health issues

What prevents a couple from infertility treatments?

1. Some people’s religious & social beliefs against infertility treatments.
2. Some couple thinks infertility treatments are too expensive & they can’t afford them.
3. Inadequate knowledge about the procedure- Some people think that infertility treatments are very painful.
4. The conservative approach about the treatment. They only want childbirth through a natural process.


Challenges during infertility treatments

Pregnancy is itself a very complex biological process. Even in this modern age, often all advanced fertility treatments fail to achieve the result.
Let’s discuss the challenges during infertility treatments –For any successful pregnancy three factors are important :
1. A healthy egg

The human egg has a very complex structure. Natural aging lowers the quality of eggs in women. Mostly abnormalities of eggs are observed in women in their 40s. If the egg is normal, you will have a healthy pregnancy but if it’s abnormal, there will be a problem in its fertilization & implantation in the uterus.

2. A healthy sperm

The structure of normal sperm is having an oval head with a long tail. If the sperm is abnormal, it may have wrong shaped head or twisted or curved tail. Due to an abnormal structure of sperm, it can’t reach to woman’s egg & fails in fertilization. In addition, the sperm count, its movement etc are also important factors for fertilization.

3. A uterus capable of nurturing the growth of a baby

Any abnormality of uterus includes – improper shape of the uterus which may cause preterm birth or miscarriage. Apart from that, uterine fibroids, endometriosis etc. can make complications in pregnancy.

With all these important factors in pregnancy, the other things which impact are the availability of all modern lab techniques & the expertise of infertility specialist.


High Risk Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a challenging phase in a woman’s life. So, it’s essential to go through this phase smoothly. Unfortunately, pregnancy becomes more challenging for some women as it brings other health complications.
Generally, there are some factors which may be risk factors before pregnancy, like –
1. Age of pregnant woman- If the age of a woman is less than 17 or greater than 35, there are some complications like miscarriage & other genetic defects.
2. Other medical conditions – Medical conditions like high BP, kidney or heart problems, diabetes, HIV, hepatitis etc.

Risk factors during pregnancy-
1. Uterine anomalies – Problems related to uterus
2. Premature birth or multiple births
3. Fetal development problems

How to prevent these pregnancy risks?
1. Folic acid & vitamines intake as per the prescription
2. Eating a healthy diet & maintaining a healthy lifestyle
3. Regular checkup & following customized treatment plan if you have other medical conditions.


Breastfeeding – The best choice for a healthy baby

“While breastfeeding may not seem the right choice for every parent, it is the best choice for every baby !”

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August worldwide.

It’s objective is to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world & to highlight the participation of family, society & employers or workplace to support breastfeeding.
Early initiation of breastfeeding is important for a baby’s good health. Colostrum, the first milk, is extremely rich in nutrients and antibodies that protect the baby against infection. You can say breastfeeding is baby’s ‘first vaccine’ due to its protective attributes.

#WorldBreastFeedingWeek2019 #AdvantagesOfBreastfeeding