HomeInfertilityUnderstanding The Link Between Tobacco Consumption And Infertility In Women

Understanding The Link Between Tobacco Consumption And Infertility In Women


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It is safe to say that tobacco is the root of various health problems. Apart from damaging your lungs, heart and throat, along with leading to secondary deteriorating effects on your other organs, this vicious item can affect your fertility as well.

There is a direct link between tobacco consumption and infertility in both men and women. Consuming tobacco is strongly associated with decreased fertility in the general population. 

Tobacco use exposes us to more than 7000 different chemicals, of which about 70 are carcinogenic. Tobacco smoke contains several different gases, vaporized liquids, and particles. The two main components of cigarette smoke are nicotine and tar. Both of these substances can harm the eggs, leading to infertility.

Smoking is also linked to an increased risk of spontaneous miscarriage, both in natural and assisted cycles. Five out of seven studies have found that women who smoke have a higher risk of miscarriage. 

The mechanisms involved are not fully understood, but the antimetabolic and vasoconstrictive properties of cigarette smoke may cause fetal growth restriction.

Also, smoking damages the sperm and eggs quality, causing premature menopause and reduced egg count. Furthermore, smoking during pregnancy is linked to an increased risk of birth defects.

In this article, we will help you understand the link between tobacco consumption and infertility in women. 

What Is Tobacco Consumption and Why It Is Harmful?

Tobacco is a common name for different types of plants that contain nicotine. All forms of tobacco are highly addictive and harmful. Tobacco consumption can be in the form of smoking, chewing and sniffing. 

Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, of which 69 are known carcinogens and several others are toxins. These chemicals travel through the blood and enter the body, affecting nearly every organ, tissue, and cell. 

Smoking is injurious to health and a major cause of coronary heart disease. It also damages the arteries and restricts blood flow, increasing your risk for heart attacks. You might be surprised to know that smoking is associated with increased blood pressure and an increased risk for asthma.

The health effects of tobacco use are serious, ranging from short-term to long-term ones. Tobacco use causes millions of deaths each year and is the leading cause of preventable disease. Different types of tobacco products pose different levels of health risk. 

Not only does smoking harm the lungs, but it can also damage the developing baby. Nicotine affects the unborn child’s development both before and after birth, making it more likely to have serious defects. Also, smoking increases the risk of premature birth and low birth weight. 

Can Tobacco Consumption Affect Fertility?

Yes, tobacco consumption can affect fertility in both men and women. Research shows that using tobacco can reduce fertility in women, thereby making it difficult to conceive. 

Cutting down on tobacco intake can make a big difference in your fertility. It’s important to understand how tobacco usage affects the fetus and the potential risks involved. 

Tobacco contains a group of toxins called reactive oxygen species (ROS). These chemicals damage delicate eggs and can increase the risk of miscarriage. As a result, you may have fewer eggs and find pregnancy much harder.

The longer a woman uses tobacco, the higher her risk of infertility. Moreover, the more cigarettes she smokes, the more risk there is for her baby to have a low birth weight.

Research shows that frequent usage of tobacco increases the risk of miscarriage and premature birth. Smokers also have a higher risk of delivering infants who are underweight and premature, and they may spend more time in the hospital.

How Can Tobacco Consumption Impact A Women’s Ability to Conceive?

There is no doubt that tobacco consumption can affect a woman’s ability to conceive. The effects of smoking on a woman’s ability to conceive are numerous. During her reproductive years, tobacco can harm the developing fetus and increase the risk of miscarriage. 

It can also damage an egg, causing the development of an ectopic pregnancy. Additionally, tobacco consumption can lead to an earlier onset of menopause and premature ageing of the eggs. Luckily, the effects of using tobacco are reversible. Quitting now will significantly increase your chances of having a healthy baby.

Tobacco consumption has many other adverse effects on a woman’s health, but it can also negatively affect her fertility. It decreases a woman’s chances of conceiving because tobacco contains chemicals that can affect her reproductive system. It’s estimated that tobacco consumption affects thirteen per cent of couples and is associated with a higher risk of miscarriage.

Tobacco effects are adverse for the production of hormones in women. It targets the hypothalamus, thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands. If you consume more tobacco, it leads to high levels of androgens or male hormones in the body. It can lead to hormonal imbalance that can cause problems like polycystic ovary syndrome.

It is a medical condition that affects a women’s ability to conceive. Research shows that chemicals from tobacco consumption like nicotine and carbon monoxide can damage the healthy and fertile eggs in a women’s body, thereby worsening problems like infertility and early menopause

Impact of Tobacco Consumption on Fertility and Age of Menopause

Studies have shown that women who consume tobacco have lower chances of conceiving naturally and are more likely to have an earlier age of menopause. While it is impossible to prove that tobacco causes menopause or fertility problems, it does appear to be a risk factor. 

The toxins in tobacco affect reproductive systems and hormone levels. Studies have found that women who consume tobacco are more likely to have menopause earlier than women who do not consume. 

Tobacco consumption increases the risk of menopause because it affects the removal and production of estrogen. It contains chemicals that kill eggs. Women who consume tobacco are at a higher risk of developing early menopause because of these effects. 

Tobacco consumption not only affects fertility but also is harmful to the fetus. Women who use tobacco experience lower pregnancy rates. Moreover, they have a higher risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, and premature labour. Therefore, quitting smoking before pregnancy is a good idea.

Birth Defect Risks Due to Tobacco Consumption During Pregnancy

There is a clear connection between tobacco consumption during pregnancy and the risk of birth defects. Research suggests that consuming tobacco during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage and other birth defects. 

Tobacco intake during pregnancy also causes the unborn child to grow too slowly, making it smaller than it should be. Premature birth is one of the most dangerous consequences of smoking during pregnancy. It can lead to birth defects and even death. It also increases the baby’s heart rate, increasing its risk of developing heart disease and asthma.

In addition to cleft lips and palates, babies born to smokers have higher odds of malformed heads and limbs and are more likely to have a heart defect. Furthermore, smoking while pregnant increases the risk of gastroschisis, a condition in which parts of the baby’s intestine or stomach protrude through the skin. 

Tobacco consumption during pregnancy can also lead to delayed lung development and low birth weight. Here are some common birth defects in children due to tobacco consumption during pregnancy.

  • Cardiovascular defects
  • Missing toes or fingers
  • Limb defects
  • Cleft lip
  • Clubfoot
  • Hernia
  • Skull malformations
  • Eye deformities
  • Anal defects
  • Gastrointestinal defects

Tips to Quit Smoking 

Smoking is injurious to health, and if you’re one of the millions of smokers, it is time to quit. You should focus on health-related issues, such as the risk of developing lung cancer, heart disease, cardiovascular problems, fertility problems and your own health. 

Moreover, you should choose a date when you plan to smoke your last cigarette. Set an objective and reward yourself for reaching your goal of quitting. It is necessary to quit smoking if you have trouble getting pregnant. Understanding the link between tobacco consumption and infertility in women can help you to quit smoking. 

Instead of consuming tobacco, you can opt for nicotine gum or prescription medicine. It will help you to improve your fertility and preserve your eggs. The best way to prevent yourself from relapse is to make your goal short-term. 

You can try chewing lozenges or drinking water instead. If you smoke whenever you’re anxious, for example, you will have to learn to deal with your feelings in a different way. If you’ve tried and failed at all, then reward yourself for a day without a cigarette. By doing this, you will reinforce the benefits of quitting and discourage you from snagging another one.

Once you’ve decided to quit, make sure that you’re in a smoke-free environment and don’t expose yourself to any harmful smoke. Tell everyone you know, including your family and friends. Make a quit plan with the help of a naturopathic doctor. 

There are many benefits of quitting smoking for women who are trying to conceive. It will improve your fertility and prevent any birth defects. If you still have difficulties getting pregnant, you can go for assisted reproductive technology procedures to conceive. Nowadays, there are different types of treatments available for women with fertility issues. 


Tobacco consumption can lead to long-term fertility damage and early onset of menopause in women. Studies have shown that quitting tobacco can drastically improve the chances of women getting pregnant and delivering a healthy baby. So, if you are planning to get pregnant, it is best to quit smoking. It will not only be healthier for your body but also for your baby. 

Pooja N Swamy (M.Sc Biomedical Sciences)
Pooja Holds Master's Degree in Biomedical Sciences from Vellore Institute of Technology. She believes in strong research and clear understanding over the subject. Always determined and focussed with a thirst to learn new things. Hardworking, flexible and grounded to align with the goals.


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