Smoking Takes a Toll On Male and Female Reproductive Health: Explains Doctor

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Pune, 30th May 2022: Smoking not only causes lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases, but also reproductive health problems in men and women. It can lead to erectile dysfunction and low sperm count in men, while infertility, ectopic pregnancy, premature birth, low birth weight, spontaneous abortion, or miscarriage in women. It is the need of the hour to quit smoking and boost fertility.

Smoking has negative effects on men and women. It damages the genetic material in eggs and sperm leading to fertility problems. A couple might find it difficult to conceive. “Smoking is dangerous for one’s reproductive health. Men who smoke tend to have damaged DNA in their sperm and this can cause fertility. Smoking can be the reason behind erectile dysfunction (ED), which is the inability to maintain an erection during sexual intercourse and affects reproduction. It disrupts the normal ovarian function, reduces the number of mature eggs that can be fertilized by reducing the egg count, in females. Women who smoke tend to enter menopause earlier,” said Dr Karishma Dafle, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, Pune.

Dr Dafle added, “Smoking during pregnancy can cause tissue damage in the fetus. It causes ectopic pregnancy, premature birth, low birth weight, spontaneous abortion, lungs of the baby failing to develop properly, birth defects such as cleft lip and/or cleft palate, or miscarriage. Babies who are exposed to second-hand smoke after birth are more likely to die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).”

Dr. Preethika Shetty, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Kharadi , “The toxins in cigarettes impact the entire body along with the reproductive system. Smoking reduces semen quality including semen volume, sperm density, motility, and viability. Thus, the sperm cannot fertilize the egg. Chemicals (such as nicotine, cyanide, and carbon monoxide) in cigarettes speed up the loss rate of eggs. Infertility rates are high in smokers when compared to non-smokers. Women who smoke heavily for a long duration are known to have weak immune systems. They are more prone to stroke and heart attacks than men. Difficulty in conceiving, poor quality of female eggs, premature deliveries, low birth weight babies, heart attacks and lung diseases complicating the pregnancies and delivery process, and withdrawal symptoms during pregnancy. Smoking is a very well-known risk factor for cancer cervix. Hence advising everyone to quit or limit smoking as soon as possible and take medical help whenever required.”


“Men and women who smoke have a negative response to fertility treatment than non-smokers who tend to have trouble while conceiving. Quitting smoking will help one boost his/her fertility, improve your chances of conceiving, will make you healthy, is good for the baby. It also lowers the risk of miscarriage and birth defects in the baby,” concluded Dr. Dafle.