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Smoking and infertility

Studies show that smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke can affect both male and female fertility.

Just as prolonged tobacco use can take its toll on other major organs of the body, so it also harms your reproductive system. For women, this can take the form of changes in the fallopian tubes and cervix, as well as damage to the egg cells. Estrogen production also tends to be reduced in smokers. All of these factors can result in difficulty conceiving. If she does get pregnant, the female smoker faces a higher risk of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy than the nonsmoker. Smoking may also cause premature menopause. The likelihood of fertility problems increases with the number of cigarettes smoked each day. In the studies, those smoking more than ten per day had significantly higher reproductive difficulties.

And male smokers? Besides the fact that his second-hand smoke will harm your fertility, studies now show that it will also impact his own reproductive abilities. Smoking may be connected to low sperm count, and abnormal sperm. In addition to making conception less likely, specialists speculate that the DNA within the damaged sperm may in turn lead to genetic problems and infertility in the unborn child.

If you are a smoker and want to get pregnant, there is hope. Doctors believe that fertility rates can improve dramatically after one year of not smoking. Don’t wait until you are pregnant to quit smoking. Sperm is stored in the testes for some time, so your chances of conceiving and of having a healthy pregnancy will be far better if you quit smoking ASAP.

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