Also see entry for Alcoholism
How It Affects Fertility (And Pregnancy)
Both nicotine and marijauana can interfere with ovulation, but a past fling with them shouldn’t affect your fertility now. Also, a recent study at the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in New York found that when men smoked marijuana, their sperm had difficulty reaching the egg. Abstaining from the drug for three months allowed healthy sperm to regenerate. But the most surprising aspect of the study was the researchers’ opinion that the same effect on sperm would be noticed even if it was the woman who had smoked the marijuana, because THC–the active ingredient–would be present in her reproductive fluids. Both cigarette and marijuana use result in the production of abnormal sperm. (Even smoking marijuana as infrequently as once every two weeks affects sperm.) Women who smoke cigarettes deplete their eggs more rapidly than women who don’t, and smoking also alters a woman’s estrogen production. Estrogen plays an essential role in the production of cervical mucus, which in turn helps deliver sperm to the egg. Nicotine in the cervical mucus of women who smoke also kills sperm, making pregnancy less likely.
Quit immediately if you want to get pregnant.
In some cases women who smoked very heavily over a long period of time suffered irreversible effects to ovarian function. Research indicates that cigarette smoke can interfere with the ovaries’ ability to produce estrogen. It also increases the likelihood of miscarriage, and of genetic abnormalities in the eggs. Heavy smokers reach menopause earlier, suggesting that smoking has an aging effect on a woman’s eggs.
But quitting smoking not only improves natural fertility, it also ups your chances of conceiving with in vitro fertilization (IVF). People who smoke during IVF treatment decrease their chances of getting pregnant by 50 percent. According to one study, stopping for at least two months prior to treatment significantly increased the likelihood of conception.
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