How Does Smoking Affect Fertility?

Many people struggling with infertility are not aware that smoking significantly reduces the chance of conceiving, as the chemicals contained in cigarettes such as nicotine and carbon monoxide damage egg and sperm health.

In this Blog, we look at how smoking affects female and male fertility.

How Does Smoking Affect Fertility?

Research has shown that people who smoke are more likely to take longer to conceive and suffer from increased infertility problems. Smoking can affect fertility levels in both women and men in the following ways:

  • Reduces the number and quality of eggs
  • Reduces sperm count and motility
  • Increases the chance of miscarriage
  • Can lead to early menopause
  • Genetic chromosome abnormalities
  • Reduces IVF success rates

What Are the Benefits of Giving Up Smoking?

Healthy conception starts with healthy sperm and healthy eggs. Becoming a non-smoker will increase your chance of conceiving and will also help if you are undergoing fertility treatment such as IVF. Stopping smoking has so many fertility benefits such as:

  • Improves egg and sperm quality
  • Reduces the risk of miscarriage
  • Reduces birth defects
  • Increases the chance of conception
  • Improves IVF success rates
  • Pregnancy complications are reduced

Stopping smoking can be one of the best natural ways to boost fertility levels in women and men and really help maximise the chance of a pregnancy.

Common Smoking Fertility Myths

  • I’ll just stop smoking once I’m pregnant. It is advisable to stop smoking as soon as you are thinking about trying to conceive. Medical evidence proves that smoking whilst trying to conceive increases the chance of infertility.
  • Vaping and E-Cigarettes are safe alternatives. This is not true as both of these smoking alternatives still contain toxic chemicals that can reduce the overall health of eggs and sperm.
  • My partner smokes and I don’t so that’s OK. Studies have shown that women who are exposed to passive smoke are still likely to suffer from infertility problems.
  • I’ll just cut down instead of giving up altogether. Research has shown that even low levels of smoking can cause infertility issues and is harmful to a future pregnancy. Smoking less does not reduce infertility issues at all.

How Long Does Reproductive Health Take To Improve

Medical evidence suggest that it takes approximately 3 full months before the benefits can be seen in egg and sperm health. Stopping smoking will help to increase  your chance of a pregnancy and reduce infertility issues.

How Do I Stop Smoking?

If you’re struggling to stop smoking, then it’s important to remember there is plenty of help available where you can access expert advice, support and feel encouraged to help you stop smoking. The NHS Smoke Free website offers advice, tips and support on how to stop smoking.