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Smoking Has an Effect on Fertility

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a blog by Beth Hartog, M.D., Damien Fertility Partners, June 17, 2012

Approximately 23 percent of American women smoke cigarettes. The possible reasons smoking effects fertility are:

  • damage to fallopian tubes,
  • changes in the cervix,
  • damage to eggs, and
  • increase in miscarriage and/or ectopic (in the tube) pregnancies.

Many research studies also link smoking to early menopause, which likely means the pool of eggs available for pregnancy is depleted sooner. This premature aging of the ovary may be as many as four years sooner.

The evidence that smoking has negative effects on fertility is compelling because of the consistency of the results across different types of studies. There is one study that shows that the number of months it takes to conceive a pregnancy increases as the number of cigarettes smoked per day increases! There is some evidence that smoking by a pregnant woman also damages the ovaries of her female fetus.

There are studies that suggest that much of the sub-fertility that is caused by cigarette smoking can be reversed by stopping. The research is strong … if you quit smoking, it can really help you on your road to building a family.


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