As you know, the importance of a healthy lifestyle for women planning pregnancy is undeniable. Bad habits can affect reproductive health and reduce the chance of having a healthy baby. These negative factors include smoking, alcohol and other drug use, unhealthy food, and environmental exposure. Smoking has been one of the most common bad habits of man for hundreds of years.
The widespread promotion of a healthy lifestyle is beginning to bear fruit, and more and more people are giving up bad habits. Thanks to anti-advertising on cigarette packs and the media, many are aware of the negative effects of tobacco smoke on the lungs and cardiovascular system, teeth, potency, and the fetus in the womb of a pregnant woman. But few people know that smoking causes female and male infertility. The MedAboutMe portal assesses the risks of this pathology.
The relevance of the problem of infertility
At present, it is difficult to surprise anyone with a diagnosis of infertility. Every day, thousands of women and men come to the doctor’s office complaining about the lack of pregnancy during a regular sexual life without contraception. People of different ages, nationalities and social strata turn to solve the same problem. Infertility has become global in scope, spreading around the world like an epidemic. According to Rosstat, there are more than 15% of infertile couples in Russia. Thus, the Russian Federation stepped over the critical mark of this indicator. In the United States, this figure is 7-8% of the population.
Myth: “I don’t smoke, which means I’m safe”
Smoking cigarettes affects not only the smokers themselves, but also those around them. Contrary to popular belief, passive smoking has an equally negative impact on a person’s reproductive ability. The danger of tobacco smoke is due to the content of more than 250 chemicals in it. The negative impact of tobacco is associated with the content of many poisons in them, including nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar.
Smoking and physiology
Smoking affects all organs and systems of the body. The mechanism of action of this process is as follows.
As a result of the intake of tar and nicotine with the inhaled smoke, the airways are blocked. The exchange of oxygen with the blood is disturbed — hypoxia (lack of oxygen) occurs. In response to this, the body reacts compensatory by increasing breathing and increasing the number of heartbeats. Vasospasm leads to an increase in blood pressure.
In conditions of oxygen deficiency, metabolic processes occur more slowly, endurance during physical exertion decreases, sleep is disturbed, up to the occurrence of apnea (sudden cessation of breathing during sleep).
The negative impact is also on the reproductive function.
Facts about women smoking
- the menstrual cycle becomes irregular;
- anovulatory cycles occur, i.e. such cycles during which it is impossible to become pregnant due to the lack of ovulation;
- menopause occurs on average three to four years earlier than in the general population.
The result of these processes is a decrease in fertility (Thompson J., 2016). Fertility is the ability of a woman to conceive.
The chances of conceiving a child are directly correlated with the number of cigarettes smoked and the length of smoking. This is due to the fact that the laying of female germ cells (eggs), unlike male ones, occurs in utero. And a woman is born with a certain number of eggs.
Facts about men smoking
- sperm becomes more viscous;
- the quality, quantity and motility of spermatozoa decreases;
- impotence occurs.
All this leads to a decrease in the likelihood of conception.
Over time, male cells undergo a series of morphological changes that lead to defects in the genetic material (DNA). Fertilization of an egg with such a defective spermatozoon can lead to termination of pregnancy at different terms or the birth of a child with congenital malformations.
Benefits of quitting smoking
Quitting smoking will lead to an improvement in the quality of life — endurance will increase, the taste of food will be felt brighter, and the risk of various diseases of organs and systems will decrease.
In the scientific world, the olive tree hypothesis has gained particular popularity. The postulate of the hypothesis states: «Environmental toxins — primarily tobacco smoking — mainly affect growing, and not «resting» follicles. Women who want to get pregnant should give up bad habits, exposure to all toxins, including tobacco smoking, six months before the intended pregnancy. This is due to the fact that new cells that provide ovarian cells with everything necessary for the development of eggs appear after six months.
Smoking and artificial insemination
Over the past 25 years, significant success in increasing fertility has been achieved in the field of assisted reproductive technologies (ART). However, researchers and clinicians are still trying to find additional factors that may affect fertility.
Identifying and changing unwanted lifestyles is key to increasing your chances of getting pregnant.
According to research in the field of reproductive techniques, smoking couples require twice as many attempts at artificial insemination. It does not matter whether both partners smoke or only one.
In the course of many clinical studies around the world, the relationship of smoking with the occurrence of infertility has been proven. The diagnosis of infertility is a colossal emotional and psychological stress for a married couple. Despite the fact that infertility treatment is safe, it is costly in terms of time and money, and, unfortunately, does not always guarantee pregnancy. The formation of a healthy lifestyle and the rejection of bad habits will increase the chances of a long-awaited pregnancy and reduce the time to fertilization. Life without bad habits is possible. Try now.
Maternal smoking and DNA methylation disorders in children in the early stages of development / Odintsova V.V., Saifitdinova A.F., Naumova O.Yu. // obstetrics and gynecology — 2018 — #9
Smoking as a risk factor for non-developing pregnancy / Olina A.A., Meteleva T.A., Sadykova G.K., Shevlyukova T.P. // Issues of gynecology, obstetrics and perinatology — 2018 — T. 17 No. 5