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Does Smoking Lower Your Fertility Chances?

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Most women know that smoking during pregnancy is a definite no-no due to the adverse effects it can have on a developing baby. But did you know that it can lower your chances of getting pregnant in the first place?

How Does Smoking Reduce Conceiving?

It's no secret that smoking damages the body in several ways. Almost every body part and organ is affected by smoking so it should be no surprise to find smoking lowering fertility rates. Without any solid answers it's difficult to pinpoint exactly how smoking reduces conceiving but the prevailing opinion is that smoking affects the sex hormones, making conception difficult to achieve. By some estimates smoking cuts your chance of conceiving by up to 40%!

woman ripping a cigarette apart to quit smoking 

If you think you can turn to IVF for help, consider this: smoking lowers fertility treatment success rates too. This seems to be the case no matter how much or how little you smoke on a day-to-day basis. Just as smoking a single cigarette affects other parts of the body, there is no "safe" limit on the number of cigarettes you can have before your fertility can start to decline.

Men are Affected Too

Many people wonder, "Are men who are smoking impotent?" In short, maybe. Even if you're not a smoker, you can still experience conception problems if your partner smokes. Smoking has been linked to impotence, low sperm quality, and low sperm quantity. If you're having trouble conceiving and he's a smoker, helping him quit may be the best fertility-booster around.

Won't The Stress of Quitting Affect Fertility Just as Much?

Not likely. It's difficult to form a link between stress and conception struggles with some research suggesting stress doesn't affect fertility very much at all. There is proof of smoking lowering fertility, however, so if you're looking for excuses as to why you don't need to stop smoking, keep looking.

Will My Fertility Increase Once I Stop?

Your fertility should return to what is normal for you fairly quickly once you stop smoking entirely. In fact, once you've quit the habit, your fertility can return to the same level that it would have been at if you had never started smoking in the first place!

Keep in mind that it takes three months for an egg to mature enough for ovulation. Ceasing smoking three months or more before you plan to start trying to conceive can ensure you're supplying the healthiest eggs possible.

I've Stopped but I'm Still Having Fertility Issues

Former smokers who are struggling with infertility more than three months later likely have a different underlying cause. Since fertility returns to normal very shortly after smoking stops, cigarettes probably aren't to blame. Talk to your doctor to rule out other possible causes of your infertility and be sure to have your partner get checked out too. The problem can be on his end just as much as it can be on your end.

 
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