Smoking and Infertility in Men and Women- The Facts

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While the negative impact of smoking in terms of cancer and coronary heart disease is well known, not many smokers (both men and women) are fully aware of the fact that smoking can cause infertility as well. It is only now that awareness about the impact of smoking on one's reproductive capabilities is increasing.

Cigarette Smoking and its Impact on Men:

Men who smoke would not be able to father a child so easily. The sperm count in their semen reduces drastically if they are smokers. The shape and function of sperms also gets modified. Another thing which takes a hit from smoking is their motility.

Further, it is not male smokers whose fertility is at risk. Their female partners, who inhale the smoke passively, are also at the risk of suffering from infertility problems. Hence, for men it is absolutely imperative that they quit smoking. This ways they would be not only saving their own selves and their partner, but would also save the next generation.

Cigarette Smoking and its Impact on Women:

The impact of smoking on the reproductive capabilities of women is as adverse as it is in the case of women. While infertility may be an unwanted, unforeseen result of excessive smoking, smoking also reduces the ability of women to conceive easily. And as it is in the case of men, women who actively smoke are not only creating a problem for themselves but are also jeopardising the potential of their male partners as well (who passively smoke along with them).

Studies have indicated that the impact of smoking in case of women is seen in ovaries. The cells in the ovaries lose their ability to produce the hormone estrogen. The impact may be varied though, depending upon the amount and length of smoking done. Further, it is indicated that smoking may result in an accelerated loss of egg from the ovaries. The eggs may show genetic abnormalities as well.

Apart from these, smoking can also result in ectopic pregnancy and/or spontaneous miscarriage. The placenta might also grow closer to the entrance of the uterus, which can put the life of both the mother and the baby at risk. Premature birth and babies of low weight would be a direct outcome of such a situation. One extremely horrific and unwanted result could be increased chances of Sudden Infant Death (SID) syndrome.

Lastly, menopause is something which would get delayed as a result of smoking.


As a matter of fact, there is nothing to conclude. The warning and advice has already been summed up in the above description of what could happen if men and women take up smoking. If they do not want to give up smoking for themselves, they can at the least do it for their next generation (if that comes).