Couples who smoke and are trying to conceive need to know the risks of smoking associated with infertility. The chemicals found in cigarettes have an adverse impact on a women’s eggs, and studies show that women who smoke are up to 60% more likely to have difficulty conceiving. They also can go through menopause up to 4 years earlier than women who don’t smoke. For men, cigarette smoking may have an adverse effect on sperm quality, but the data is not conclusive. Women exposed to second hand smoke also experience a decline in egg quality similar to smokers, so those trying to conceive should avoid second hand smoke, and if their partners refuse to quit smoking they should only do so outdoors.
Female smokers undergoing such fertility treatments as IVF may require more ovary-stimulating medications during the process. It is still likely that you will have fewer eggs retrieved and that you may also have lowered pregnancy rates compared to non-smokers.
For women who currently smoke, quitting can have a significant positive impact on your chances to conceive. If you want to stop smoking, talk to your health care provider about coming up with a plan. This plan may involve the use of nicotine replacement aids or medications, although these are not recommended for use once already pregnant.
Quitting smoking may be one of the best things that you can do for yourself, your fertility, and your unborn child.