Smoking is one of the primary problems these days which restricts an individual from preventing morbidity and mortality. It has an assemblage of famous side-effects and infertility is one of them. So, if you have been facing the problem of not conceiving naturally for long, then chances are one of the partners who smokes is infertile. However, there are countless options available for infertility treatment for males and females.
The connection between smoking and infertility has been researched for decades, though population-wide research is missing. Most of the studies focus on the effects of smoking on male and female infertility. There are studies that also recommend both males and females restrict themselves from smoking in order to enhance reproductive outcomes.
So, if you question whether smoking can hurt male and female fertility, the answer would be yes. It not only leads to negatively affecting the fertility but also the pregnancy phase if you conceive. There are very high chances that couples who smoke may take longer than usual to achieve pregnancy than the ones who don’t smoke. Couples who have sex without protection every second or third day and don’t smoke achieve pregnancy within a year. But on the other hand, for smokers, the chances are cut by almost half every month. If you try giving up smoking, then the chances also increase faster because it will help with improving the womb lining in the females.
- There are chemicals in cigarettes that leads to damaging the sperm genetic material and the eggs.
- High chances are men have to experience lower sperm counts, enhanced abnormally shaped sperm and issue of sperm motility.
- Women who smoke can face the loss of irreversible eggs and prompt menopause.
- Smoking without any doubt affects the ability to have children and takes longer than usual to conceive naturally and causes infertility among both men and women.
- Men’s fertility enhances as soon as they stop smoking.
- Giving up smoking also helps women to achieve pregnancy as egg quality improves.
Let’s now get into more information to understand the problem of infertility in men and women as a result of smoking.
Smoking and fertility in Men
The effect of smoking is easily identified in men as they have to experience the problem of decreased sperm quality negatively and its attributes. It is the need of an hour that men should realize that smoking is increasing the chances of infertility. Hence, the only option to conceive remains is infertility treatment for men and women. If a man is smoking more than two cigarettes every single day, then sperm loses the ability to fertilize eggs. It is also important to know that chances of infertility increase by 30 per cent in males if they are smoking on a regular basis. And it’s just not an infertility issue that men have to face because of smoking there are many other risks to health.
Risks for men
Here are the risks that can be there for men when they smoke regularly:
- Men can face difficulties in getting and keeping erections.
- It also leads to damaging the genetic material or DNA in sperm which later on is moved to the child.
- The production of sperm is in the process all the time. Sperm requires a period of two to three months to mature. Hence, one should stop smoking before planning a baby.
- More than 20 cigarettes which are also known as heavy smoking at the time of conception leads to an increase in the chance of childhood leukemia in a baby.
How long does it take to improve male fertility after quitting smoking?
Fertility in men begins to improve as soon as they stop smoking. After men decide to put down the cigarettes, their sperm quality begins to improve no matter how long they have been smoking. Sperm requires a period of 90 days for the process of development. Chances of conception increase by stopping smoking three months before trying to get pregnant.
According to a study, it is also found out that dangerous effects of smoking weren’t observed in men who quit smoking on the quality of semen. So, if you and your partner trying to conceive but one of you is a smoker then it is important for you to quit smoking. Also, try to make positive changes by adopting a healthy lifestyle and diet as well.
Smoking and fertility in Women
Smoking is more dangerous to female fertility because it leads to irrevocable harm to the supply of female eggs. There are chemicals in cigarettes that enhance the loss of the female egg and affect the ovaries to age prematurely. Regular smoking can decrease the chances of conception among women when compared to the ones who don’t. Smoking not only impacts the egg quality but can lead to permanent infertility which means they have to go for the options like IVF treatment or surrogacy. The rates of infertility are very high in females according to the studies. The chances of conception remain only 54% in women who are trying to get pregnant but are regular smokers. It is also studied that females require more medications for simulations when they choose in-vitro fertilization.
Risks for women
There are several risks for women which they need to be aware of:
- Women have to face the issue of unchanged hormone production.
- Women also experience the issue of an unchanged environment in the uterus.
- There are very high chances of miscarriages if a woman is a regular smoker.
- There is a risk of an unhealthy pregnancy that involves premature childbirth.
- Regular women smokers put themselves at the risk of giving birth to a baby with growth issues.
How long does it take to improve female fertility after quitting smoking?
There is bad news for ladies out there because of regular smoking or if you are a chain smoker you must know that even after you quit this bad habit it won’t help the ovarian reserve to recover. However, fertility improves in different ways but then again women have to wait longer than men to notice any positive results. It may take even a year.
For women who aren’t in their menopause or with the issue of tubal factor infertility, quitting smoking can help in returning the potential for fertility.
Does it impact the chances of getting pregnant if your partner smokes?
Yes. Passive smoking is known as second-hand smoke which negatively affects the probability of conception. However, it doesn’t mean that you will not get pregnant but most of the time passive smoking causes issues when trying to conceive. Breathing smoke from your partner’s cigarettes leads to damaging your efficiency of getting pregnant even if you aren’t a smoker.
Impact on newborn baby
There is no denying the fact that smoking affects the fertility of both men and women but this completely doesn’t mean that couples cannot achieve pregnancy. In some cases, even after being a regular smoker, the female conceives but then she has to face other issues like premature birth or issues in the development of the baby. According to the research, it is found out that men whose mothers used to smoke during their pregnancy or were a smoker have very few sperm counts.
It is also identified that women smoking during their pregnancy period can cause limitations in the development of a baby. Children are most of the time born with low-weight issues and also are at risk of medical issues such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc. Also, parents who smoke put their children at a high risk of SIDS known as sudden infant death syndrome and asthma issues. So, it is always better to quit smoking for couples who are regular smokers and are planning to conceive.
Tips to quit smoking
There is always a better way to come out of poor addictions like smoking. All you need is determination and effort. There are tips that can assist you with quitting smoking. Let’s see here:
- Firstly, it is important for you to find the triggers which lead to smoking and begin to avoid them. For example, if you feel eager to smoke post-lunch, then try replacing this habit by involving yourself in something such as walking or having some good coffee.
- Smoking is a habit that is difficult to leave, so you can try to cut down your cigarettes. For example, if you were smoking five cigarettes per day, then make it two and gradually you will be able to quit this bad habit.
- Try getting rid of the paraphernalia from your car, the place where you live and the locations you regularly visit.
- Always try to avoid the company of smokers.
- You can also get in touch with the counsellor as they can guide you and give their support while you are on the journey of quitting smoking.
- You can also read information and books which might help you to quit smoking.
The bottom line
Smoking is not good for both men and women because it not only impacts fertility but also leads to poor health conditions. It reduces the development of a healthy reproductive organ in females and for males as well. There are countless researches initiated to understand the effects of smoking on fertility. One such study found out that women who smoke during their pregnancy and have given birth to a male child were born with a low sperm count and smaller testes.
Quitting cigarettes is not simple but it is not impossible at the same time. Couples trying to conceive should leave this habit not only for their health but specifically for their unborn child. It undoubtedly will require more effort and discipline but you will experience another level of happiness when you experience parenthood.
You can also get in touch with the services offering infertility treatment for men and women such as Crysta IVF as they can assist you with achieving pregnancy. But it is better if you try to quit smoking and then try to get pregnant. Or else, we are there to help you out anyway with the assistance of our best fertility specialis.