Usually, we know smoking is injurious to our health. It can lead us to have diseases like lung cancer and be threatening to our life. In addition, it is harmful to both male and female fertility. Most of you (couples of the opposite sex) are not aware of this. You come to know it when a gynaecologist in Bangalore or your locality asks about your lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking on your visit for general checkups or pregnancy care. Here in this post, have a look at how smoking affects male and female fertility.
Smoking effects on male fertility
As a male, you can easily identify the effect of smoking on your fertility. You will have a lower sperm count and poor sperm motility and shape if you are a heavy smoker. Keep in mind smoking is one of the primary reasons/causes of male infertility. Your sperm can’t fertilize your female partner’s egg if you smoke more than two cigarettes a day. Further, smoking can reduce your fertility by up to 30%. Your regular smoking can lead you to have:
- Penile erection issues
- Genetic or DNA damage
- Sperm production and maturation issues
- Child leukemia in your baby
You (male) can improve your fertility by quitting your smoking habit. As you quit smoking, your sperm starts improving in terms of count, shape, and motility. To recover your fertility completely, you can take 2-3 months. So, you must quit smoking for two to three months before you start working on your family expansion plan.
Effects of smoking on female fertility
In comparison with your male partner, smoking is more injurious and dangerous to your health and fertility. Whether you (females) are a light or heavy smoker, your smoking habit harms your eggs. Three chemicals present in cigarettes cause egg loss and make the ovaries have premature aging.
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If you smoke regularly, your conception chances get down and you take a lot of time getting pregnant. Further, it can lead you to have complete and permanent infertility. Getting pregnant through IVF or other means could be problematic for you. Your natural or assisted pregnancy chance is only 54% if you smoke. The risks you can have are as follows:
- Unexpected changes in hormone production and regulation
- Uterine issues that may not be friendly to having a conception
- Higher chances of miscarriages
- Unhealthy pregnancy
- Premature childbirth
- Birth defects like low birth weight
Similar to your male partner, you (female) can too improve your fertility and pregnancy chances by quitting your smoking habit. There is bad news that you will get a longer time to recover from the effect of smoking on your fertility. You can’t recover your ovarian reserve. However, you can expect positive outcomes from fertility treatment after quitting smoking.
Effect of smoking on your unborn or newborn baby
As a couple, you can conceive while being a smoker. You can take a longer time to conceive. Your smoking habit leaves bad impacts on the health of your baby that will come into this world after a certain time. Here are some effects that your baby could face:
- Preterm birth
- Low birth weight
- Death caused by sudden infant death syndrome
- No proper development of the mind and congenital skills
What you should do
As a couple, you must quit smoking as you make your family expansion plan. Do it at least three months before you start working on your conception plan. Here are some effective tips for quitting smoking:
- Know what triggers you
- Start lowering the number of cigarettes or times of pipes you smoke a day
- Gradually, avoid having the company of smokers or people who are smoking at a particular time
- Consult a counselor
Smoking is harmful to both general and reproductive health. Heavy smoking can make you have permanent infertility or delay your conception time. As a couple, you must quit smoking before you plan your parenthood journey. Gradual practice and counselor support can help you succeed in quitting smoking.