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Smoking and Infertility

Effects of Smoking on Fertility

Infertility is a common problem, occurring in one out of six couples. Cigarette smoking reduces both female and male fertility.

Women and Infertility:

  • Smoking has a negative effect on the ovaries and uterine wall, reducing a woman’s chance of conception. Research shows that smoking may reduce the embryo’s ability to implant in the lining of the uterus.
  • Women who smoke may experience a poor response to hormone stimulation when being treated for infertility with in-vitro fertilization or embryo transfer.
  • Heavy smokers have a higher likelihood of having abnormal vaginal bleeding than nonsmokers.
  • Women who smoke are prone to early menopause.
  • In some women infertility can be reversed after smoking cessation.

Men and Infertility:

  • The more men smoke, the more the ability of sperm to bind to an egg is diminished. Smoking is linked to low sperm counts and sluggish moving sperm.
  • It takes at least 2½ months to see improvement in sperm count and motility after quitting.
  • Smoking can gradually and permanently damage blood vessels throughout the body, including those that carry blood to the penis. This can make it difficult to get or maintain an erection.
  • Men who quit smoking often have fewer problems achieving a normal erection.
  • When both partners smoke there is a 64% increase in miscarriages.