Dr. James Douglas encourages people going through infertility to participate in the Great American Smokeout. The American Cancer Society mounts this massive smoking cessation push every third Thursday in November to get people to put down that potentially fatal habit once and for all.
Nearly 20 percent of Americans still smoke, and that segment of the population faces an elevated risk of cancer, heart disease and other frightening consequences.
But did you know that smoking also has a negative impact on fertility?
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine cites the 2004 Surgeon General’s Report, which warns that smoking affects fertility and undercuts the effectiveness of fertility treatments for couples trying to conceive. Males who smoke can experience reduced sperm counts, as well as reduced motility of the sperm they manage to produce. While a smoking habit may not matter in men with normally generous sperm counts, those who produce less sperm under ideal conditions may find that smoking interferes when they try to conceive.
As for women, researchers have found that smoking impairs female fertility by up to 30 percent as the chemicals signal eggs to die and ovaries to cease functioning — in effect setting up a kind of premature menopause.
Fortunately, the negative effects of smoking on fertility can be reversed once the smoking ceases; for instance, men whose sperm counts have been sabotaged by smoking may be back in form within six weeks of kicking the habit. But since women cannot grow new eggs to replace those lost, it’s imperative that you and/or your partner get that smoke out of your lives as soon as possible. Get into a smoking cessation program and save your fertility — and Contact IVF Plano if you have any questions.