If you are a smoker or your partner is a smoker then trying to stop could be the most important thing you could do to increase your chances of getting pregnant, and staying pregnant.
The evidence is very strong with over 1350 articles on the effect of smoking and fertility… Multiple studies have showed that smokers of both men and women had a 2 fold chance of infertility. This means the chances of not getting pregnant were twice that of people who did not smoke. This is quite an amazing statistic.
Smoking is one of the strongest lifestyle risk factors that has a detrimental effect on your reproduction, including effecting the quality of your eggs:
- making them less likely to fertilize
- increasing your chances of pregnancy loss
- increasing the incidence of birth malformations such as cleft palate
- as well as increasing obstetric complications like pre-term birth and intra-uterine growth restriction.
Have a look at the diagram below: Which describes diagrammatically some of the nasties in cigarettes. This picture says a 1000 words.
Statistics that may help you to consider not smoking:
• Women smokers take a longer time to conceive when compared with non smokers, this is also if you are a passive smoker
• Miscarriage rates are higher in women who smoke compared to non smokers
• Menopause occurs earlier in female smokers
• There is an increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy in the fallopian tube) in smokers
• Male smokers have a 17% reduction in the numbers of their sperm compared to their male non smokers.
• Smoking reduces the male hormones
• More importantly….There is a higher rate of impotence in men who smoke
• Male smokers have decreased sperm quality and increased presence of fragmented DNA
Get Help To Stop Smoking And Increase Fertility Chances
I do not want you to panic by the above statistics, just take positive action and consider stopping… there is an abundance of specialized help out there for you. Yes, stopping smoking can be difficult and takes great courage and focus. If getting pregnant is your main goal then this is a great time for you to change to a healthier non-smoking life.
Boost Your Fertility Chances By Quitting Smoking
1. Get help through your family doctor. They have been trained in the medications called ‘nicotine replacement therapy’ that are around to help you stop.
2. Get “stop smoking” counselling through the many Quit-lines in different countries. You may find them through your local councils or your family doctor, or even on the internet. Studies have shown that telephone counselling significantly increases the quit rate of smoking by 40%
3. Find a friend who will stop with you
4. Tell your family and friends you are stopping smoking. Often they will encourage you as well
5. Nicotine replacement therapy doubles the quit rate of smoking. These can come in many forms, see below
6. If you don’t succeed first time or 2nd or third, do not beat yourself up. Just start again and say ” I can do it”.