Yes, It Is A Choice
It's not rocket science, and the facts and figures have long pointed to the truth that smoking is not only bad for you, but it has a profoundly negative health affect on a baby's health and development.
It's Just Not Good For Anybody
The information that seems to have missed being absorbed is that the chances of conceiving increase dramatically if a woman stops smoking before even trying to become pregnant. Studies indicate that women who smoke can take as much as three times longer to conceive than those who don't smoke. On top of that, current studies are indicating that there is a profound effect upon the reserve egg cells in the ovaries of women who do smoke. The harmful substances produced by the break-down of nicotine speeds the depletion of the egg cells and actually have the potential to put a woman into menopause up to four years earlier than women who don't light up.
Adding to these facts, the risk of pregnancy problems are increased with smoking. Miscarriage, the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy and genetic abnormalities are all attributed to smoking. As a matter of fact, ectopic pregnancies are four times higher among heavy smokers than non-smokers. One really has to ask themselves why they are smoking at all. The impact of active smoking by either partner is profound and the effect of passive secondary smoke exposure is only a little lower than that of active smoking.
Smoking and IVF
When a couple who smokes decides to have IVF (in vitro fertilization), it often takes twice as many attempts to conceive than with non-smokers. Higher doses of gonadotropins to stimulate the ovaries are necessary and a long list of negatives accompanies the women who seek IVF such as, lower peak estradiol levels, fewer oocytes obtained, more canceled cycles, lower implantation rates and more cycles of failed fertilization, than non-smokers. At the end of the day, even assisted reproductive techniques can be foiled by cigarette smoking.
Men Are Not Off The Hook
And, it's not just the women. Men are affected with lower sperm count and motility with increased abnormalities in the shape and function of the sperm. While male fertility questions remain unanswered in terms of cigarette smoking, there is definitely proof of the negative effect of passive or second-hand smoke on the fertility of the women partners and the evidence that smoking does, in fact, affect sperm quality and quantity. Smoking should be considered a major factor in infertility. If a couple is considering IVF then it behooves them to stop smoking before they enter into any type of treatment. The very best available information indicates that smoking is a very strong contributor to infertility and should be discouraged. Natural fertility and IVF may improve with smoking cessation.