Stop Smoking and Save An Ovarian Year

The newest study looking at the effect of smoking on menopause confirms what we have been saying for years: smokers have earlier menopause. It has something to do with the direct toxic effect of smoke on the ovaries. The study didn’t actually prove that stopping smoking helped this much. In fact the opposite: most studies looked at “ever smokers” and notice the same earlier menopause trend as noted by Dr. James Lacey Jr of the Beckman Research Institute in Duarte California. Interestingly, early menopause has been tied to about a 2% greater risk of dying, and the risk is mostly associated with increased cardiovascular diseases. Breast, liver and uterine cancers are actually less in smokers: presumably due to their lower overall estrogen numbers. But ovarian hormones do so much as we know that women with premature surgical removal of the ovaries will lead to
increased overall mortality, coronary heart disease dementia, osteoporosis and other cancer mortality. Premature menopause, due to smoking or not, can put one at risk for these same complications. Smoking has many reproductive consequences, on of the most important is that it doubles the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
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Although smokers have this earlier menopause the researchers haven’t been able to determine if the transition to menopause is any different. And if you don’t smoke, but live with a smoker: you are not immune to the effects of smoke. Cohabiting with a smoker if you are on menopausal hormonal therapy you likely will have worse hot flashes. Other factors influence when you go through menopause, but stopping smoking is good for your health, so come on in for a visit and we will gab about this!

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