What Is the Connection Between Smoking and Fertility?

So many factors contribute to infertility; however, some causes of infertility are more absolute. If your partner has a very low sperm count or you have blocked fallopian tubes, you are going to experience problems related to infertility. Interestingly, so many things can indirectly affect your ability to become pregnant. Smoking is one such problem. Studies have found a connection between smoking and fertility, and it is confirmed that people who smoke are at a great risk of having infertility issues as compared to people who do not smoke. Let's find out more about it.

Can Smoking Affect Fertility?

Yes, there is a connection between smoking and fertility, so you should quit smoking now if you are trying to get pregnant. Quitting is important for you to conceive and to ensure that your baby stays healthy once you have conceived. You are at a greater risk of having fertility problems if you have been smoking for many years or you smoke quite a few cigarettes daily.

You ingest more than 7,000 chemicals into your system when you smoke, and these chemicals can cause infertility, as well as other issues, such as genetic issues, ovulation problems, and increased risk of cancer. Smoking is also associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. If you are trying fertility treatments while smoking, you are less likely to get satisfactory results.

Exactly How Does Smoking Affect Fertility?

Smoking can affect both men and women. Here is a bit more about the link between smoking and fertility problems:

Smoking and Infertility in Women

In women, cigarette smoking can damage ovaries, and the damage may be irreversible depending on the amount and time a woman smokes. Studies show that smoking may also be linked to the loss of eggs and reproductive function in women. The cells in the ovary are responsible for producing estrogen, but chemicals in cigarette smoke can affect this process and result in a woman's eggs being more susceptible to genetic abnormalities.

Research also shows that cigarette smoking puts a woman at an increased risk of spontaneous miscarriage. It may also be related to ectopic pregnancy. Women who are pregnant but continue to smoke are likely to have low birth weight babies. There is also an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in women who smoke during pregnancy.

Smoking and Infertility in Men

Cigarette smoking can directly affect sperm count and motility in men. It may also be associated with abnormalities in the function and shape of sperm. There is not enough research to identify the extent of damage smoking can cause to the male reproductive system, but the fact is that it is never good. In fact, the passive smoke can affect the fertility of female partners and lead to issues.

What about Second-Hand Smoke?

Even if you do not smoke, you should encourage your partner to quit mainly because secondhand smoke is equally dangerous for you and the health of your unborn baby. If you are trying to conceive and having issues, it could be due to your exposure to secondhand smoke. In fact, experts are of the view that secondhand smoke contains poisonous chemicals and is as damaging to your reproductive system as if you were smoking yourself.

Some studies have also found connections between exposure to secondhand smoke and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). If you are pregnant, you should ensure that you do not smoke and encourage your partner to stop as well to limit your exposure to the chemicals found in secondhand smoke.

Will Your Fertility Improve If You Stop Smoking?

Yes, it will. Even though it may not help increase the egg supply, it will still help in many ways. Quitting may also help lower risks of experiencing pregnancy complications. Ideally, you should stop smoking even if you have not become pregnant yet. If you do it even before you start trying to conceive, you may improve chances of conceiving, have lower risk of miscarrying, and deliver a healthier baby.

Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy after Quitting

Now that there's a strong connection between smoking and fertility problems, it is of great importance to start quitting it. However, you also need to try whatever you can to neutralize the effects of smoking. You can do it by boosting your nutritional levels, increasing detoxification of nicotine, increasing repair of damaged cells, and increasing your lung capacity. Here are some steps to take:

  • Include whole food in your diet. It is possible to restore depleted nutritional levels by sticking to a nutrient dense Fertility Diet. You may consider working with a dietician to learn about foods you should include in your diet.
  • Maintain an active lifestyle. You should exercise daily and be as active as possible. Exercise is important for the health of your lungs and it also helps detoxify your body after smoking. Regular exercise also helps with proper circulation and oxygenation, which in turn will improve your chances of conceiving.
  • Take whole food multivitamin. Smoking directly affects your nutritional levels, which is why you may consider taking a multivitamin supplement to fill the nutritional gap. It is important to tweak your diet as well, but it is sometimes difficult to get all the nutrients from food, especially if you are very deficient in certain nutrients.
  • Try fertility cleansing. It helps eliminate thousands of chemicals you have ingested through cigarette smoke. Most of these chemicals go directly into your fat cells. Fertility cleansing is important because your body is going to use your fat reserves during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about ways to cleanse your body in the right way.
  • Increase your intake of antioxidants. You can eat foods, like fish and seafood, or take supplements to increase your intake of antioxidants. These antioxidants eliminate free radicals from your body and prevent oxidative damage to cell structures, including DNA. This will help reverse some damage caused by cigarette smoking and improve your chances of having a healthy pregnancy.
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