Should you stop smoking tobacco cigarettes while on IVF treatments?
Awareness on the side effects of smoking cigarettes are constantly advertised in the US; from the surgeon general warning on cigarette packs to uncanny TV commercials featuring victims of smoking. However, when it comes to reproductive health and smoking, the only visible warnings are to not smoke tobacco while pregnant. But what about tobacco smokers trying to conceive? Unfortunately, many are not aware that smoking may also lead to infertility in women and men alike.
Smoking Tobacco and Infertility
For those couples struggling to conceive, smoking tobacco cigarettes will only harm your chances. In fact, smoking cigarettes has been associated with infertility and decreases IVF success. Fertility specialist and REI, Dr. Hosseinzadeh, founder & director of Fertility Institute of San Diego, recommends that during an IVF cycle avoid smoking cigarettes, both before and after fertility treatments and pregnancy. “Certain lifestyle choices, such as smoking cigarettes, can decrease the chance of conception,” says Dr. Hosseinzadeh.
Smoking cigarettes may affect a woman’s fertility
Studies have shown that smoking and second-hand smoke may have a negative influence on women’s fertility. Smoking cigarettes is correlated with infertility, premature menopause, pregnancy complications, and miscarriage.
The toxic chemicals found in cigarettes may also increase the loss rate of eggs in women. Unfortunately, women do not reproduce eggs, they are born with a certain amount of eggs that decrease as they age. When eggs are lost at a quicker rate, due to toxins found in cigarette smoke, it may increase the risk of early infertility.
A study in 2017: Association between cigarette smoking behavior and infertility in women: a case-control study, found that 6 or more tobacco cigarettes per day may harm your chances to conceive.
Smoking may cause male fertility irregularities
Male cigarette smokers may suffer from low sperm counts, sperm motility, sperm quality and abnormally shaped sperm. In addition, smoking may also lower the sperm’s capability to fertilize eggs.
A study on smoking and males shows a lower quality of semen in those who smoked: Cigarette smoking significantly alters sperm DNA methylation patterns. The study shows smoking can damage the DNA in sperm and may lead to problems with fertilization.
It is important to remember that sperm is produced throughout a male’s life; it takes about two and half to three months to mature. Which means for males who quit smoking, their sperm health may return to those of a non smoker after that amount of time.
The verdict on smoking and fertility
Fertility Institute of San Diego, a boutique San Diego fertility center, strongly recommends to quit smoking tobacco while trying to conceive, especially before or during IVF treatments. Dr. Hosseinzadeh and her dedicated team of fertility specialists are here to help you on your fertility journey. Southern California residents can take advantage and book a free consultation with Dr. Hosseinzadeh, to go over the effects of smoking on fertility or any other fertility related questions, by clicking here.