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Second-Hand Smoke Linked to Fertility Issues in Women
It is common knowledge that smoking is a significant source and cause of ill-health. Second-hand smoke, too, has many known harmful effects. One more adverse effect for passive smokers can now be added to the list, with a recent study revealing that women who spent regular time with smokers experienced greater difficulty in conceiving, as compared to those who did not.
Details and Findings of Study
The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Rochester in New York and involved 4,804 women. These women had visited the university`s Roswell Park Cancer Institute sometime between 1982 and 1998 for health screenings or for cancer treatment.
All in all, about 11% of the study subjects had experienced difficulty getting pregnant, while about one among every three of them had suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth.
The study found that women with exposure to second-hand smoke during childhood and adulthood had a 39% higher chance of suffering a miscarriage or stillbirth, and had a 68% higher chance to have struggled to conceive. It also discovered that women who had grown up with a smoking parent were more likely to have had difficulty getting pregnant, which the researchers defined as having had to try for at least a year.
Very significantly, these problems seemed to increase in incidence together with the number of hours of daily exposure to second-hand smoke. This strongly suggests a cause-and-effect association.
The Dangers of Cigarette Smoke for Mother Wannabes
As noted by the study team, second-hand smoke has many toxic substances which could adversely affect female reproductive health. Potential damage includes damage to cell genetic material, inhibition of hormones which are required for conception and a smooth pregnancy, interference with conception, as well as increased risk of miscarriage.
And the findings of this study, published in the journal Tobacco Control, add on to those of previous ones, which had revealed that women who smoked cigarettes had higher risk of pregnancy complications and infant health issues; and also that exposure to second-hand smoke during pregnancy increased the risk of miscarriage.
"These statistics are breathtaking and certainly point to yet another danger of second-hand smoke exposure. We all know that cigarettes and second-hand smoke are dangerous. Breathing the smoke has lasting effects, especially for women when they`re ready for children," said Luke J Peppone, the leader of the study.
Indeed, the ill effects of cigarette smoke could last beyond pregnancy and infanthood, too. The journal Development and Psychotherapy had recently reported that women who smoked while they were pregnant were more likely to give birth to aggressive children.
In addition, a recent study carried out by the Cancer Institute in News South Wales, Australia revealed that women who smoked during pregnancy were increasing the likelihood of their children developing serious cancer later in life. This included cancer of the eyes, kidneys, blood, brain as well as central nervous system.
Do pregnant ladies and those who wish to become mothers need any more reasons to avoid cigarette smoke, whether first-hand or second-hand?
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