Cigarette smoking has negative effects on fertility and pregnancy. Of all the “easier said than done” things in the entire world, smoking might be the best example. But quitting does make a significant difference. If you smoke or consume tobacco and have been meaning to stop, now is the absolute best time for you to start working on quitting.
How smoking affects fertility
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine reports that 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 eggs. It can also decrease sperm quality, sperm count, and sperm motility (which is sperm’s ability to move until it reaches the egg).
Women who smoke may go through menopause one to four years earlier than women who don’t. The sperm of men who smoke is far less likely to fertilize eggs. Smoking can also make IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatments for infertility less effective.
How smoking affects pregnancy
Smoking during pregnancy can lead to serious health problems for a mother and her developing baby. Some risks of smoking during pregnancy include:
- Increased fetal heart rate
- Lower amounts of oxygen
- Placental problems
- Increased chances of miscarriage
- Premature birth
- Low birth rate
- An increased risk of baby respiratory problems
- A higher risk of birth defects
- An increased rate of SIDS
Barclays employees have a few different resources to help them or their dependents quit smoking.
If you’re enrolled in the Barclays medical plan, Anthem’s Primary Nurse line can assist members who want to quit. The Primary Nurse program can be reached at 1-800-992-2579.
The Barclays Be Well program provides employees with activities and events to help you improve and maintain your wellbeing and live a healthy lifestyle. Visit the Be Well portal to learn more.
Your Humana Employee Assistance Program (EAP) also offers support and referrals if you’re looking to quit smoking.
You can give Humana a call at 1-800-448-4358, or select the button to visit their website. Sign in with the username Barclays and password eap.