Tobacco and fertility are not a good binomial for reproductive health. In fact, one of the images that we often see on cigarette packs to warn us of tobacco’s harmful effects is that of a damaged female reproductive system.
According to the ASRM, 13% of all female infertility is caused by tobacco. And according to recent studies carried out by the IVI, the probabilities of miscarriage are doubled for women who smoke.
Over the past decade, numerous studies have revealed the deadly effects that tobacco has on fertility. Although the findings from these studies are countless, we would like to summarize the most important conclusions in this post honoring the World No Tobacco Day:
- Infertility rates among men and women who smoke are approximately twice as high as the rates among non-smokers.
- Even though women who smoke need and receive more ovarian stimulation medication during IVF, they develop fewer eggs at the time of collection, and their pregnancy rates are 30% less than the rates of non-smoking patients.
- Ectopic pregnancies are four times more likely in women who are heavy smokers.
- Smoking speeds up the loss of reproductive function, eggs and the consequent onset of menopause.
- Women who smoke are more prone to pregnancies that include chromosomal problems.
- Sperm from male smokers often present greater chromosomal abnormalities.
- Smoking fragments the sperm’s genetic material, causing male infertility.
- Smoking during pregnancy decreases the amount of oxygen reaching the placenta, ultimately affecting the baby’s growth.
- Mothers who smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day during pregnancy could be causing future fertility problems for their baby: boys with a 20 - 40% reduced sperm count and girls with low ovarian reserve.
- The descendants of mothers who smoke are more prone to developing leukemia.