Smoking and Infertility

Patients should be aware of the link between smoking and infertility

Dallas IVF knows that patients who make healthy lifestyle choices have greater pregnancy success rates and healthier babies. This is true for men and women who avoid tobacco, as the physicians at our Dallas fertility clinic see a clear link between smoking and infertility.

The tie between smoking and infertility in both men and women is well-established

Smoking and infertility go hand in hand. The physicians at our Dallas fertility clinic can cite numerous studies and real-life examples of smoking causing fertility problems. In fact, infertility rates among smokers are double for both men and women, and this number corresponds directly to how many cigarettes a patient smokes each day.

Men who smoke can experience erectile dysfunction, a lower sperm count and an increased number of abnormal sperm. Women experience even more fertility-related issues.

  • Women who smoke go through menopause one to four years earlier than women who do not smoke. The chemicals found in cigarettes cause women to lose eggs more quickly.
  • Fertility treatments are less effective for female smokers. Women who smoke need more fertility medication during an IVF cycle, but produce fewer eggs and have 30% lower pregnancy rates.
  • Smoking damages the genetic material in a woman’s eggs, so female smokers experience higher rates of miscarriage and babies born with birth defects like Down syndrome. In fact, the same chemicals found in cigarette smoke are also found in the fluid nourishing a woman’s eggs.
  • Women who smoke are more likely to experience an ectopic pregnancy and preterm labor.
  • Women who smoke during pregnancy have babies with lower birth weights, which can lead to later medical problems. These children also have an increased risk for developing asthma or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Secondhand smoke is just as dangerous, as women who do not smoke can still experience all of these problems if their partner does.

Patients can improve their fertility by giving up cigarettes

Our Dallas fertility clinic sees great improvement in fertility when a patient gives up smoking. Although a woman cannot reverse her depleted egg supply, she can reduce the rate of pregnancy complications.

While it can be difficult to quit smoking, it is possible with help from a physician, a smoking cessation program or a support group. Our fertility specialists typically don’t recommend using nicotine replacement products during pregnancy. However, using a nicotine replacement might make sense in some situations, so don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Dallas fertility specialists.

If you’d like more information about smoking and infertility, please contact our office today.