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Smoking and fertility

Of all of the “easier said than done” things in the entire world, smoking might be the best example. But quitting really does make a significant difference.

How smoking might impact fertility

While there are definitely smokers who conceive every day, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, infertility rates in both male and female smokers are about twice what they are in non-smokers who are trying to conceive.

Cigarette smoke can damage and kill off eggs, as well as decrease sperm quality, sperm count, and sperm motility, which is sperm’s ability to move until it reaches the egg. This means that women who smoke may go through menopause one to four years earlier than women who don’t, and that the sperm of men who smoke is far less likely to fertilize eggs. Smoking can also make IVF treatments for infertility less effective, and after conception, women who smoke are also more likely to miscarry or have ectopic pregnancies.

Having your fertility as a reason to quit smoking isn’t necessarily going to make quitting any easier, but your healthcare provider may be able to suggest a program that could. Once you’ve quit, be sure to balance your nutrition, eat lots of antioxidant-rich food, and consider starting to take a multivitamin to get your body more prepared for conception, pregnancy, and labor.

  • “Smoking and infertility.” Reproductivefacts. American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 2014. Web.

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