Test Your Fertility Knowledge
Q: Smoking can…
- Cause a woman's eggs to die off faster
- Decrease sperm’s ability to fertilize eggs
- Lead to miscarriage
- All of the above
Chemicals (such as nicotine, cyanide, and carbon monoxide) in cigarette smoke speed up the loss rate of eggs. Unfortunately, once eggs die off, they cannot regenerate or be replaced. This means that menopause occurs 1 to 4 years earlier in women who smoke (compared with non-smokers).
Male smokers can suffer decreased sperm quality with lower counts (numbers of sperm) and motility (sperm’s ability to move) and increased numbers of abnormallyshaped sperm. Smoking might also decrease the sperm’s ability to fertilize eggs.
Because smoking damages the genetic material in eggs and sperm, miscarriage and offspring birth-defect rates are higher among patients who smoke. Smokeless tobacco also leads to increased miscarriage rates.
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