Many people may not know that smoking and fertility are not a good combination
Studies show that smoking can cause fertility health problems for both men and women who are trying to conceive.
A recent anti-smoking campaign aimed at teens from the Food and Drug Administration plays up the long-term health effects of smoking on gum health and skin. One graphic TV ad shows a teenager buying a pack of cigarettes at a convenience store and literally pulling out a tooth with a set of pliers to pay for them.
“What’s a pack of smokes cost? Your teeth,” the narrator says. “Smoking can cause serious gum disease that makes you more likely to lose them.”
Too bad none of the ads in the campaign didn’t illustrate the risks of smoking on the teen’s future fertility. It brings thoughts of what an ad agency creative director might create for a commercial on smoking and fertility. What particular body part might this teen have to pay with when he or she was purchasing their pack of cigarettes? The graphics would be quite chilling.
What if the ad targeted adults? What if it targeted just our patients? It may go something like this: “You’re spending hundreds of dollars on a habit that will drastically decrease your chance of being a parent. What are you thinking?” Or maybe: “You’re spending thousands of dollars on fertility treatment knowing that smoking can adversely affect your chances of pregnancy. What are you really thinking?”
While it can be hard to quit smoking, knowing the fertility health benefits of quitting may motivate patients
We get it. Smoking is a very difficult habit to break. You may know dozens of people that smoke and have no trouble getting pregnant. But knowing the cold facts of smoking on your fertility may just be the motivation you need.
Health consequences of smoking on your fertility include:
- Smoking accelerates the loss of eggs and advances menopause by several years.
- Smoking makes oocytes (eggs) more prone to genetic abnormalities.
- Smoking increases the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, premature birth and risk of stillborn.
- Nearly twice as many IVF attempts are required to conceive in smokers versus non smokers.
- Men who smoke have a lower sperm count and motility.
Indeed, what are you thinking? Stop throwing away your money and your fertility.