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No Smoking Day: Effects of smoking on women’s sexual health – Expert shares its impact on unborn babies health news


No Smoking Day, observed annually on the second Wednesday of March, raises awareness of the health hazards of smoking and encourages smokers to quit. Smoking affects the body from head to toe, almost no part of our body is untouched by its dangerous effects. We are all well aware of how smoking affects our lung and heart health.

Dr Richa Mittal, Consultant, Pulmonary Medicine, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, said, “No smoking is safe if you are trying to conceive or even if you are pregnant, be it cigarettes, vaping or hookah. It not only affects the mother but also has many effects on the baby. Not just female, but also male partner smoking. The good news is that studies have shown that many smoking-related fertility issues can be reversed within a year of quitting. So the earlier you quit, the better it is for you and your baby.”

How does smoking affect the female reproductive system?

Dr. Richa’s ways in which smoking affects reproductive health are:

  • It reduces your chances of conceiving. It leads to fertility in both males and females.
  • It has multiple negative effects during pregnancy and delivery.
  • There are long-lasting effects on your child’s health, if the child is exposed to the mother or even if the father smokes regularly.

Does smoking make conception difficult?

Dr. Richa comments, “Smoking makes it harder and longer for you to get pregnant. The more you smoke, the less likely you are to get pregnant. The effect is greatest when women smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day.”

“This not only affects normal conception, but also makes it difficult to conceive a child even through in vitro fertilization (IVF). There is strong evidence that women who smoke have a lower chance of IVF success and need more cycles than non-smokers.”

“Smoking leads to early menopause because it causes premature depletion of the ovarian pool and premature aging of your ovaries in about 1-4 years. Smoking can reduce sperm count and motility, which also reduces male fertility. Men smoking reduces sperm quality.” , highlighted Dr. Richa.

Smoking and its effects on pregnancy

– Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of complications.

– Adverse outcomes include spontaneous pregnancy loss and preterm delivery.

– Smoking can lead to low birth weight and fetal growth restriction.

– Cigarette smoke can increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.

– Ectopic pregnancy is dangerous for both the baby and the mother.

Smoking and its effects on newborn health

– Nicotine from all smoking products, including vaping, can cross the placenta, affecting fetal and postnatal development.

– Babies born to mothers who smoke are at increased risk of atopy (allergies) and respiratory problems such as infections, asthma and reduced lung function.

– Smoking during pregnancy can lead to shorter height, lower reading and spelling scores, reduced attention span, hyperactivity, childhood obesity and reduced school performance.

– There is a possible association with serious mental illness in children, although the evidence is not yet strong.

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