Secondhand smoke causes infertility

Here comes more bad news for those living with a spouse who smokes. More confirmation that even if you don’t smoke, inhalation of secondhand smoke from your spouse damages your eggs and can lead to infertility and/or miscarriage. Even worse, as the new study shows, is that the effects can be very long lasting.

An analysis of almost 5000 non-smoking women showed those who were exposed to second hand smoke six or more hours per day as children and adults faced a 68 percent greater chance of having difficulty getting pregnant and had an increase in miscarriages. The study is published online in Tobacco Control and is one of the first publications to demonstrate the lasting effects of second hand smoke exposure on women during childbearing years.

“These statistics are breathtaking and certainly points to yet another danger of second hand smoke exposure,” said Luke J. Peppone, Ph.D., research assistant professor at Rochester’s James P. Wilmot Cancer Center.

In the study, four out of five women reported exposure to second hand smoke during their lifetime. Half of the women grew up in a home with smoking parents and nearly two-thirds of them were exposed to some second hand smoking at the time of the survey.

More than 40 percent of these women had difficulty getting pregnant (infertility lasting more than a year) or suffered miscarriages, some repeatedly.

The worst aspect of this study is the fact that the effects are so long lasting. Many of the participants had been exposed to secondhand smoke as children, and experienced the effects of childlessness twenty or even thirty years later.

So stub out that cigarette, breathe in some clean air and get on the path to a safe and healthy pregnancy.

(Adapted from story by  University of Rochester Medical Center, USA)

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The writer is a fertility specialist with over 20 years experience in the field. This site is intended to provide up to date fertility information for the interested.
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