The 31st of May the world celebrates the World No Tobacco Day, which seeks to promote its consumption reduction to contribute to the development of society.
From IVF Spain we wish to highlight how harmful tobacco is for reproductive health. At the same time we wish to motivate smokers to make the decision of quitting the consumption of this toxic, that negatively influences health in general and the ability to conceive in particular, both in men and women.
Women who smoke and undergo a fertility treatment show significantly lower implantation rates compared to those that do not smoke.
The substances present in tobacco affect the maturation process of the oocytes/eggs and also increase the risk of chromosomic anomalies.
In men the components of cigarettes notably reduce the sperm’s quality and can cause genetic lesions/defects in their sperm cells.
When a mother smokes during pregnancy, the baby will also be consuming the product of smoking. This will induce an abstinence syndrome due to nicotine as early as right after birth.
Furthermore tobacco decreases the amount of oxygen the fetus receives during pregnancy in as much as 40%, which hinders its growth and development. It’s due to this last issue that the babies of mothers who smoke usually present an average of 200gr less of weight at birth (in most cases reaching a condition known as “low birth weight”), which is linked to numerous problems including higher infant mortality.
Lastly, we would like to add that it is always good to quit smoking. Even if you have smoked for a long time, as soon as you quit you will gain extra years of life for your cells and for those around you (passive smokers).
In the case of pregnant women the benefit for the baby is immediate: a few minutes after ceasing smoking the baby’s heart beat slows down and the amount of carbon monoxide in its organism decreases and therefore also the risk of stroke.
Below you can read the opinions of four of our fertility experts regarding tobacco consumption:
Dr. Alicia Álvarez:
´Since we cannot avoid environmental toxicity we must limit the toxics we can actually avoid, such as tobacco which negatively affects not only our health in general but also that of our gametes´.
Dr. Isabel Herrera:
´It is of extreme importance to highlight that smoking is harmful for both women and men in the context of fertility. In women it reduces the implantation rate and in men it substantially affects the seminal quality´.
Dr. Natalia Szlarb:
´Let us make every day the World No Tobacco Day, because tobacco consumption is extremely damaging for anyone’s health in general but especially for those who wish to become parents´.
Dr. Sergio Rogel:
´Tobacco is one of most noxious substances that we voluntarily consume in our society. It reduces the amount of oocytes/eggs, induces all types of cancer (bladder, uterus, kidneys, lungs…), it affects erection, increases the risk of stroke, etc. The question we must ask ourselves bearing all this in mind is: Why do we smoke?´.
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