World No Tobacco Day 2023: Couples Trying To Conceive? Quit Smoking Now
Smoking poses an array of health risks, not only to the individuals who smoke but also to those around them. However, the effects of smoking extend even further in couples trying to conceive. Quitting smoking represents a paramount step towards improving fertility and enhancing the chance of creating a new life.
A couple who engages in unprotected intercourse once every two to three days often becomes pregnant within a year. However, the likelihood of getting pregnant drops by roughly half for smokers. Dr Aman Priya Khanna, co-founder, HexaHealth, General, Laser, Bariatric and Minimal Access Surgeon shares how it is difficult for smokers to conceive:
- Without question, smoking makes it more difficult to conceive naturally, and affects both men and women equally.
- Cigarettes contain toxins that can harm the genetic makeup of eggs and sperm.
- Men are more likely to experience reduced sperm counts, sperms with unusual shapes, and problems with sperm motility. They may even have trouble getting and keeping an erection.
- Numerous studies have discovered that smoking raises the risk of infertility, notably because it lowers ovarian reserve and egg quality. Smokers may have irreparable egg loss and early menopause.
- In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and other Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), which couples go through, are visibly successful compared to women who had never smoked versus those who smoked.
- Research published in the journal Tobacco Control suggests that smoking has a greater risk of miscarriage (46% higher risk compared to non-smokers) and early pregnancy loss.
- Smoking during the later stages of pregnancy can result in birth abnormalities, development limitations, and high blood pressure in the mother.
Dr Khanna shares ways to quit smoking:
- Regular counselling sessions and follow-ups with the doctor for personalised advice and assistance. One can also join support groups and seek advice to boost the likelihood of quitting smoking.
- Always make an effort to keep smokers at a distance.
- Focusing on a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and balanced food decreases the desire to light up.
- Don’t give up; one should be steadfast and optimistic in their decision to stop smoking for themselves and their unborn child.
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