The health risks of tobacco smoking are well known with regards to disease of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels, but the impact on reproductive health has never been fully appreciated. There is now substantial research evidence which suggests that smoking reduces a couple’s chances of a successful pregnancy and increases the possibility of adverse health effects on any children born.
At Assured, we do ask that all parties participating in the plan are non-smokers by the time they get accepted onto the plan. Many people can appreciate and understand why it would be necessary for the female party to quit smoking prior to considering pregnancy but I often get frustrated partners on the phone who don’t understand the significance of them being smoke free for the duration of their treatment, so I thought I would explain our consultants’ reasoning in this week’s blog.
There is evidence that smoking can change the makeup of semen parameters and can cause smoking males to have a lower sperm count, lower motility and increased abnormalities in the sperm shape and function. As we know that sperm is regenerated in a 3-monthly cycle, Assured Fertility ask that you are smoke free for this period in order for your body to have chance to regenerate new sperm and therefore hopefully maximise your chances at producing a good quality sample.
The impact on fertility of passive smoking is only slightly smaller than for active smoking, so if someone is a smoker in the household, the detrimental effects to fertility can be nearly the same and the time it takes to conceive is longer in smokers than in non-smokers.
Cigarette smoking has also been found to be harmful to a woman’s ovaries and appears to accelerate the loss of eggs and reproductive function and in women who smoke can be found to require more IVF attempts than non-smokers. Women smokers undergoing IVF generally have fewer eggs collected, more cancelled cycles, lower implantation rates and undergo more cycles with failed fertilisation.
At Assured we want to do everything we can to help you achieve your goal of having a baby and our consultants feel that by being smoke free for a period of 3 months before treatment and throughout the treatment itself, this will increase your chances of a successful outcome and that is our (and yours) main priority.
Holly Scott, Patient and Clinic Liaison Manager
*subject to acceptance on our plan