Smoke Without Fire: The Effects of Smoking on Ovarian Function and Fertility

May 13, 2022
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Smoking is good for nobody. But it becomes even more dangerous when you're on your way to starting a family. Not only does smoking damage your lungs and respiratory organs, it also systematically spreads its tentacles across your body, eroding overall bodily function and eating away at your health. But worse, smoking can deter you from conceiving a baby and severely impair your reproductive graph. Discover how.

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How Does Smoking Affect Ovarian Function and Fertility?

Smoking can hamper the female reproductive system by presenting an array of fertility problems. Here's a look at what smoking can do to you.

  • Prematurely Aged Eggs

Regular smoking can deplete the quality of egg cells, by causing premature ageing and damage. In turn, there may be lower levels of quality eggs hosted in the ovarian reserve. Not only does this upset your ovulation cycle, it can also catalyse the onset of menopause ahead of the usual menopausal stage.

We've already told you about how your ovaries are affected as a result of smoking. While a damaged egg may be successfully fertilised and implanted in the bed of the uterus, it may not sustain the uterine environment for very long. Continued smoking can affect the embryo quality and development of the fetus, and in turn, increase the risk of miscarriage.

  • Damaged Fallopian Tubes

If damaged eggs and a hostile uterine environment were not enough, smoking can also impair the fallopian tubes, hampering conception. Blemished tubes may increase the chances of an ectopic pregnancy, a condition where the fetus begins to develop outside the uterus. They can also lead to preterm labour, intrauterine growth restriction, preeclampsia, intrauterine fetal death and antepartum bleeding.

What Are the Effects of Stopping Smoking?

Stopping smoking is probably one of the wisest choices you could make for yourself and your future family. While you already likely know the overall health benefits of kicking the cigarette butt, here are some insights into how it could help your fertility

  • Improved Fertility

Giving up smoking can undo years of damage to your reproductive organs, thereby augmenting your fertility. Women with polycystic ovaries can specially benefit from abandoning the habit, because it is thought that smoking skews androgen levels and slows down metabolism.

  • Full Term Delivery

Premature babies are a likely possibility for women who smoke. By stopping smoking before you conceive, or within the first trimester of your pregnancy, you can minimise the risk of a premature birth for your baby. Effectively, this will make you as likely to carry your baby to full term as a non-smoker.

Must read- What Are The Causes & Symptoms Of Female Infertility?

  • Healthy Birth Weight

Smoking has a direct impact on the weight of your baby. By quitting cigarettes early in your pregnancy, you can give your baby the chance of growing as much as if you had been a non-smoker. But there's still hope for expectant mothers who want to give up smoking later on in their pregnancies. By going clean before your third trimester, the impact of smoking on your baby's health can still be diminished.

A healthy pregnancy consists of a variety of conducive ingredients, with lifestyle and diet featuring right on top of this list. By getting rid of cigarettes and reclaiming your health, you will be closer to starting a family. And with the flame left over from your lighter, you can light up your life instead.