Smoking and Fertility Treatments
Are you considering fertility treatments but still smoking cigarettes? Keep reading. Not only are cigarettes giving you wrinkles and bad breath, cigarettes may also decrease your chances of success with fertility treatments.
Smoking and fertility problems
Smoking and infertility go hand in hand. In fact, we cannot emphasize enough how important it is that you stop smoking to protect your fertility and your health.
Smoking can increase many fertility problems for women, including:
- Affecting your eggs and causing ovulation problems
- Damaging your cervix and fallopian tubes
- Increasing risks for miscarriage and other problems during pregnancy and at birth
Men and women hoping to become parents must make serious efforts to stop smoking in order to get pregnant and have healthy babies.
Smoking and fertility treatments
Planning to try intrauterine insemination (IUI), or in vitro fertilization (IVF)? If so, make an effort to stop smoking today. Smoking may affect your success rates when undergoing these fertility treatments.
Studies show that smokers are less likely to get pregnant with Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedures like IVF. While ART does work for some women that smoke, smokers are more likely to miscarry after ART than their nonsmoking peers. In fact, smokers are more likely to miscarry than other women, whether they use ART or not. Overall, smokers tend to take twice as long to get pregnant with ART than nonsmokers. The take home message: Avoid smoking when trying to get pregnant with IVF and other fertility treatments.
Smoking and fertility drugs
You may know that your hormones must work in harmony to make a baby. Yet chemicals in cigarettes upset your natural hormonal balance, making it harder to get pregnant.
As a result, smokers may be more likely to need fertility drugs like Clomid and other ovulation-inducing medications to help them conceive. And, smokers often end up needing more medication than their nonsmoking peers, which can be expensive and a burden.
Dangers of secondhand smoke
What if you don't smoke, but your partner does? If you live with a smoker, your fertility could be at risk. Secondhand smoke affects your health and the health of your unborn baby. When trying to get pregnant, avoid being near friends and relatives when they smoke.
Smoking decreases fertility
While smoking and infertility-related problems are often reversible, some women do have permanent reproductive health damage after years of smoking.
If you are having a hard time quitting, let your dreams of having a healthy baby inspire you to stop smoking now. Ask your doctor for information about smoking cessation products and programs.
Get more information about how to stop smoking when trying to get pregnant.
- American Society for Reproductive Medicine: Smoking and infertility
- American Council on Science and Health: Cigarette Smoking and Sexual Health
- American Society for Reproductive Medicine: What am I doing that can cause infertility?
- American Society for Reproductive Medicine: Exposure to Cigarette Smoke Damages Eggs, Impairs Embryo Development.