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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Fertility Friday: Baby Daddy Needs to Stop Smoking With You To Improve Fertility, Daily Ejaculation Is fine

If you want a baby, both of you need to put out the cigarettes. Smoking is the least recognized, but possibly the most easily correctable contribution to infertility. Recent studies of infertility shows that even passive smoking affects your ability to get pregnant.  Luckily second hand smoke has been eliminated in so many places! So many patients get focused on issues that aren't as critical such as how often to have sex, and whether their guy's sperm count will lower if they don't have the proper interval between sex. Actually not having sex lowers the sperm count. When over 10,000 men were studied, going for more than 10 days without sex lowered the sperm count. In men with normal counts, daily ejaculation didn't change their counts or the numbers of motile sperm. So have sex as much as you want, but put out the cigarettes

There are many known issues with women who smoke and fertility. We have known for a long time that smokers go through an earlier menopause due to earlier depletion of all their viable eggs. This translates in to a 1-4 year earlier menopause. But we now know that  the baseline pituitary hormone, FSH, levels creep up on smokers years before this and in fact the impact on ovulation and thus fertility sets in much earlier. No one has quite worked out if this is due to nicotine or the other products in cigarettes, so perhaps vaping wouldn’t cause as much effect (more research needs to be done regarding vaping and the effect on health).

In addition to fertility issues contributed by women who smoke, there are also problems with fertility as a results of men who smoke. Sperm counts and parameters in the semen analysis are worse, but no studies actually have proven male infertility due to smoking. But for those with borderline counts, the evidence seems clear enough to at least stop smoking while trying to conceive. Studies of individual genes within sperm have also shown that smoking can cause individual gene damage in sperm.

Once a woman is pregnant, smoking increases the chance of early miscarriage. Here are some stats for you to contemplate:
- About 1/3 of the population smokes
- Smokers have at least double the rate of infertility based on getting pregnant within one year
- Smokers have 20 times the risk of having a tubal pregnancy than non-smokers

For more information regrading pregnancy and smoking see the 2013 committee opinion of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

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