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Smoking and infertility

Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 harmful chemical compounds, including nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, aromatic hydrocarbons, acids, carcinogens, and heavy metal salts. Once in the human body, these substances trigger dangerous changes in the brain, respiratory organs, cardiovascular system, and digestive organs. The effect of tobacco smoke on the body continues to be investigated. Among the negative consequences of intoxication are cell death as a result of their oxidation, damage to the DNA structure, hormonal disorders.

Smoking or children – the future is yours

The pathologies caused by smoking inevitably affect reproductive functions. It’s not just about tobacco smoke. Any smoking is dangerous:

  • cigarettes;
  • vape;
  • icos systems;
  • hookah.

All of these products contain nicotine, which suppresses the production of estrogen in women and testosterone in men. The psychoactive substance reduces sexual desire by acting on the central nervous system.

In women, menstrual irregularities, depletion of the ovarian reserve, and ovarian pathology are observed. As a result of a decrease in the activity of sex hormones, the aging process is started ahead of schedule, bringing the climax closer. Women who smoke often have LH and FSH elevated by 30-35%. This is a signal that the ovaries are not working properly, which leads to infertility. The danger is also that the effect of cigarettes on the female body is prolonged. Smoking at an early age can affect reproductive health later.

Electronic cigarettes are positioned as less harmful because they do not produce carbon monoxide. But this does not mean that the products are safe for reproductive health. In addition to nicotine, vaping liquids can contain various toxic compounds: flavors, dyes, sweeteners, which are not always indicated in the composition.

Hookah and women’s health – this topic has been discussed for a long time. Such smoking lasts longer than with a regular cigarette. More toxic substances enter the body. His systems are under prolonged stress. The degree of the harmful effect of hookah on the female body is higher.

According to the latest research on the effect of smoking on conception, nicotine addiction reduces the chances of getting pregnant by 30%. Toxic substances contained in cigarettes hinder the production of sex hormones and inhibit the main aspects of conception: the maturation of eggs, their movement through the fallopian tubes, fertilization. Smoking causes changes in cell genetics. As a result, during fertilization, an embryo with damaged DNA can develop. The mother’s body recognizes the discrepancy, provoking a miscarriage or freezing of pregnancy.

13% of all cases of infertility are from smoking, including passive smoking. According to statistics, this is the reason for 86% of miscarriages and a third of registered cases of premature births.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons pose a great danger to the female body. They are produced when tobacco is burned. These compounds destroy the eggs. The negative impact of long-term smoking is comparable to the removal of one ovary.

Nicotine addiction reduces childbearing age by 1–2 years. Smoking during IVF not only reduces the chances of successful conception, but can also cause pathological pregnancy. Consulting a fertility specialist will help you learn about all the risks associated with an addiction.

Impact of male smoking on fertility

The body of a future father is also subject to serious consequences of nicotine addiction. Smoking threatens a man’s fertility by causing erectile dysfunction. Male smokers have a 50% higher risk of impotence.

In addition, the harmful substances of tobacco smoke affect the main characteristics of semen:

  • morphology;
  • production;
  • quality.

Scientists have tested the effects of smoking on men’s health. Only 6% of smokers managed to get positive spermogram results. In other cases, there were various violations. Here are the most common ones.

  1. Asthenozoospermia. Decrease in the number of active germ cells in the male ejaculate.
  2. Teratozoospermia. Structural disorders of the sperm capable of fertilization. More than 50% of germ cells do not mature properly, as a result of which they cannot penetrate into the egg.
  3. Oligozoospermia. Decreased volume of semen in the ejaculate.

Nicotine-containing products cause violations of the genetic code. Since many factors in the development of the embryo depend on the state of the male cell, this can be the main cause of the appearance of abnormalities in the fetus.

To learn more about the effect of cigarettes on a man’s sexual health, you will need an andrologist consultation. The doctor will determine the state of the body, diagnose violations and give recommendations for their treatment.

Female smoking and pregnancy

Doctors recommend dealing with a bad habit 2-3 years before planning pregnancy. It’s not just about the need to restore the body. It is important to prevent the mother from smoking during pregnancy. The effect of nicotine on the fetus at the very beginning of the term can be critical, because it is at this time that the internal organs are formed and the foundations of the future organism are laid.

Cigarettes, as well as vaping and aikos during pregnancy, are dangerous due to nicotine effects. This narcotic substance narrows blood vessels, depriving the fetus of oxygen and nutrients, causing developmental pathologies. Hookah is no less harmful during pregnancy. Remember that the degree of intoxication in this case is even higher.

When smoking, the mother’s body rapidly loses vitamins B, C and folic acid, which leads to:

  • prematurity;
  • defects in the physiology and psyche of the baby;
  • miscarriages and premature birth.

Cigarettes increase the risk of having a child with developmental pathologies of the brain, nervous system, and musculoskeletal system.

Azhder Irina
Azhder Irina
Reproductionist, obstetrician-gynecologist

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