Did you know that once you stop smoking there is no nicotine left in your body after 24 hours? The addiction is the ritual, the habit and the social interaction.
Apart from all the normal dangers such as cancers, lung and heart problems, quitting smoking before conceiving is importnatn as it will greatly diminish your chances of conception.
Studies suggest that:
- Smoking reduces the amount of estrogen that your body produces.
- Smoking may affect the way that the hormone estrogen is released.
- Smoking may cause a decrease of blood flow to the genital organs, resulting in dryness of the vagina and other sexual issues.
- Smoking may contribute to the destruction of eggs whilst in the ovaries and before they reach maturity, resulting in a lower egg count.
- Smoking can negatively impact the fallopian tubes. This could lead to disease of the fallopian tubes.
- Smoking can cause your eggs to be more prone to genetic problems.
- Smoking may even negatively affect the ability of an embryo to implant in the uterus.
The rate of successful conception drops further the longer the woman has smoked.
Studies also suggest that women who have never smoked have had as much as twice the degree of success when trying to conceive, than those who have smoked.
Research suggests that:
- Smoking may result in a low or lower sperm count.
- Smoking may affect the sperm’s motility.
- Smoking may lead to genetically abnormal sperm.
Your Unborn Baby
Furthermore, you will most certainly want to stop smoking once you conceive to protect your unborn child.
Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including truly nasty things like cyanide, lead, and at least 60 cancer-causing compounds. When you smoke during pregnancy, that toxic brew gets into your bloodstream; your baby’s only source of oxygen and nutrients.
Ob-gyn Robert Welch is chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan. Welch has helped thousands of women with high-risk pregnancies realise their dreams of a healthy baby. Despite all these successes, there’s still one situation that truly scares him: a pregnant woman who can’t quit smoking.
“Smoking cigarettes is probably the No. 1 cause of adverse outcomes for babies,” he says.
Welch has seen the complications far too many times: babies born prematurely, babies born too small, even babies who die before they can be born at all. In his view, pregnancies would be much safer and the babies much healthier if pregnant smokers could somehow swap their habit for a serious disease such as diabetes or high blood pressure!
“I can control those conditions with medications,” Welch says. But when a pregnant woman smokes, he says, nothing can protect her baby from danger.
Studies show that when a pregnant women smoke, there is a significant and increased risk of:
- Premature delivery
- Low birth weight
If you look into how the baby is affected in more detail in these circumstances, it truly is scary and cruel to put an unborn child through that.
Every cigarette you smoke increases the risks to your pregnancy.
It does not end there either. Even if you do manage to give birth (which is not guaranteed because smoking during pregnancy can cause underdeveloped little bodies, internally and externally) there is the risk of lifelong effects on your baby’s brain. Then there’s also your stress levels to be coped with as you worry about what you may have done to your baby.
Stop smoking at least two months before trying to conceive – your future baby is worth it.