Studies have shown a link between smoking cigarettes and infertility. A study done by the British Medical Association showed that women who smoke had a 40% lower chance of successfully conceiving than non smoking women.
Researchers are not sure exactly how smoking interferes with a woman’s ability to get pregnant. There are a few theories, but no concrete proof. One theory is that some of the chemicals in cigarette smoke can interfere with the quality of the eggs. Another theory suggests that smoking interferes with the eggs being released during ovulation.
It’s not only women that are affected. Smoking may affect a man’s fertility as well. The same British study showed that cigarette smoke is responsible for decreasing the quality of male sperm. This can affect the sperm in a few ways. The sperm may be malformed or low motility can result from the chemicals and toxins present in cigarette smoke. This is a great reason for the smoking couple to quit together.
There is good news. Quitting smoking can quickly improve your chances of conceiving a baby. Researchers have found that once a woman quits smoking, her chances of conceiving improve within a year. The best thing to do if you smoke and want to have a baby is to quit now.
Once you get pregnant, there are many reasons not to go back to smoking. Cigarette smoke has been linked to many problems in pregnancy, such as miscarriage, low birth weight and even still birth. After the baby is born, smoking continues to put the baby in danger. Babies born to smoking mothers have higher rates of SIDS and health problems, such as asthma. These are all good reasons to quit now and quit for good.
That is often much easier said than done. I know because I used to be a smoker. Quitting is very difficult, but it can be done. Different methods work for different people. Talk to your doctor for help in quitting. There are medications that may help, such as Zyban. Other women have found success through nicotine replacement products, support groups to help quit smoking or hypnosis. Ask your doctor to help you find the best method for you.