Women, Fertility, and Smoking

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

If you’re a smoker and planning to have a baby soon, it’s best that you quit smoking now. It is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your baby. Why?

Girl SmokingSmoking affects your fertility. Women who smoke are more likely to have fertility issues than nonsmokers. If you’re among those women who are heavy smokers or who have been smoking for several years already, you are at greater risk of having fertility issues.


Cigarette smoke contains more than 7000 harmful chemicals and carcinogens. When you smoke, these chemicals enter your system and affect every inch of your body. This can cause fertility issues, including:

  • Issues in your reproductive organs,
  • Unhealthy eggs,
  • Early menopausal,
  • Increased risk of miscarriage
  • Genetic issues, and
  • Ovulation problems.

Moreover, women who undergo fertility treatments are more likely to have difficulty getting pregnant and give birth to premature babies.

Secondhand smoke affects your fertility as well. If your husband, or significant other is a smoker, it is best that you encourage him to quit smoking. Studies have consistently shown that second hand smoke is almost as harmful as smoking. Exposure to second hand smoke can affect your overall health as well as your fertility.

It is also among the leading causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. Quitting smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke exposure protects your and your baby’s health too.

Smoking increases the risk of miscarriage. Because of the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke, women who smoke are more likely to have miscarriage than nonsmokers, and the pain can be very devastating. Smoking also increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy and early labor.

But amidst the warnings about the harmful effects of smoking to women’s health, millions of women around the world are still getting hooked into the habit of smoking.

Quitting smoking increases your chances of having healthy pregnancy. Fertility improves after quitting smoking. Studies suggest that smokers can increase their chance of conceiving if they quit smoking at least two months before pregnancy. This allows your body to replace the damage cells and recover from the harmful effects of smoking.


Smoking ALSO causes fertility issues in men. Men who smoke are at greater risk of male fertility issues, including:

  • Lower sperm count,
  • Weak sperms,
  • Hormonal problems, and
  • Erectile dysfunction or the inability to attain and maintain erection.

So if you’re planning to get pregnant and your partner is a smoker, better encourage him to quit smoking to have a better and sooner chance of conceiving. Quitting smoking also improves his performance in bed which can result to a happier relationship.

If you’re at the child bearing age and planning to have a baby soon, and you smoke – quitting smoking will improve your chance of having and giving birth to a healthy baby. Consult your doctor today and learn how to quit smoking for good. You can even avail of different smoking cessation treatments to make it easier for you to quit. Ask your doctor about the available options for you.



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