Infertility Risk Factors: Tobacco Smoking

There are many causes of infertiltiy. One risk factor for developing infertility is tobacco smoking. Smoking cigarettes of any type can cause infertility problems in both men and women.

Why Tobacco Causes Infertility

Cigarettes have many ingredients that are harmful to the body. These products can cause infertility in both men and women. In men, smoking tobacco can cause a low sperm count. The sperm count can be up to 15 percent lower in men who smoke. This does not seem like much, but when trying to get pregnant it can be a lot. Tobacco can also affect the sperm's motility. If the sperm cannot move fast enough through the vagina to the cervix to reach the egg, then the egg cannot be fertilized. Smoking can also cause impotence in men. If the male cannot maintain an erection, there is no way a pregnancy can be achieved.

If the woman smokes, it lowers the chance of conception even more. Smoking can lower the quality of the eggs released during ovulation. A woman's ovary will usually only release one egg during ovulation, unless the woman is on a fertility medication. Smoking has also been shown to damage the uterine lining. If the lining of the uterus has damage, it can be hard to achieve or maintain a pregnancy. If you or your significant other smokes, this could be why you're having problems conceiving a child.

Quitting Smoking

If you are trying to become pregnant, it is recommended that you quit smoking. By quitting, you can increase your chances of conceiving a child by up to 30 percent. There are mnay different programs available to help assist you in quitting. There are also other options such as nicotine patches or gum that will help you cut down on the nicotine in a step by step program. It may be easier for you to use a program like that rather than quitting cold turkey. Your doctor may also have things that can help.

Quitting smoking before becoming pregnant is highly recommended, because smoking while pregnant can harm the baby. Smoking during pregnancy has also been shown to cause miscarriages in early pregnancy. There are a number of other risks that are associated with smoking while pregnant, such as low birth weight baby, birth defects or the chance of having a baby which is addicted to nicotine. If you do keep smoking after the baby is born, the child will then be exposed to secondhand smoke, which can cause asthma and other breathing problems in young children. Quitting may be hard, but it is the best option for everyone.

If you smoke and you're having problems conceiving a child, talk to your doctor about all of your options on quitting. If you choose to quit smoking to increase your fertility, there are many programs to help you. There are other health benefits from quitting smoking, such as more energy and reducing the risk of developing heart disease and cancer.