Can Smoking Cause Infertility in Women?

Smoking and Infertility
There are many causes of infertility in women. But, women who smoke are more likely to be infertile and to have unsuccessful infertility treatments.

Facts about Smoking and Infertility in Women:

  • Women who smoke are 60% more likely to become infertile than nonsmokers.
    Smoking can significantly delay the time of conception.
  • Women who smoke are less fertile than nonsmokers and it takes them longer time to become pregnant when they try to conceive.
  • Heavy smokers face more difficulty in conceiving than light smokers.
  • Chemicals and toxins present in tobacco may alter the cervical fluid, making it toxic to sperm causing pregnancy to be difficult to achieve.
  • Researches show that smoking has a ‘devastating impact’ on a woman’s chance of bearing a baby through IVF.
  • Researches show that the effect of smoking more than one cigarette a day for a year reduced women’s chances of having a live birth through IVF by 28%.

Smoking and Infertility in Women

  • Most chain smokers are aware of the dire consequences – smoking cigarettes can lead to cancer development and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. There is a strong association between smoking and infertility in women.
  • However, the sad truth is that nearly 23 million women in the United States are still actively smoking. That means that 23% of the United States female population still indulges in the activity.
  • In the U.S., smoking is considered as the most preventable reason of death. Still, around 140,000 women die every year from some smoking-related disease.
  • There is a prevalence of smoking among women who fall in the age group of 25-44; as the highest rate 27% is observed in this group. Read on to know more about smoking and infertility in women.

Infertility and Smoking – The Link

Women smokers also suffer the same dire consequences of smoking as the men do like increased risk of different types of cancers (bladder, kidney, pancreas, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, mouth and lung) and respiratory diseases. But one of the grave dangers of smoking in women is infertility.Nowadays, women are delaying pregnancy till they are in their 30s or 40s, which poses fertility problems even for those women who don’t smoke. But women who delay childbirth and smoke cigarettes are more susceptible to infertility when compared to nonsmokers.

You must be aware of the fact that women smokers have only 72% of the fertility of nonsmoker women. If all the other factors are equalized, it is still 3.4 times more likely that women smokers may need more than one year to get pregnant.More studies are indicating that there can be problems with zygote fertilization and implantation as well as decreased ovulatory response in women who smoke. Scientists are even pondering whether the harmful chemicals in tobacco can alter the cervical fluid. This makes it difficult for the sperm to initiate fertilization and conceive.

Smoking’s Adverse Effects on Women Fertility


Most of the studies show that smoking causes harm to the fertility and reproduction process. In smokers, there is a higher prevalence of infertility. Also, it takes a longer time for them to conceive when compared with nonsmokers. Actively smoking by any of the partner poses a high risk, and there is an equal danger of being exposed to passive smoking.

Smoking is also strongly linked to a high risk of spontaneous miscarriage. Also, it is associated with ectopic pregnancy. Women who smoke during their pregnancy are more likely to have premature birth and low birth weight newborns. Apart from these risks, the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) heightens in homes where someone smokes.

Smoking’s Adverse Effects on Male Fertility

Men who indulge in the habit usually have a lower sperm motility and count. Also, they have high abnormalities in sperm function and shape. However, the exact effect of smoking on men reproduction is yet not substantiated. Even though the adverse effects of smoking on male fertility remains uncertain, the dangers of passive smoking on their female partner’s fertility is clear. Also, the evidence of smoking affecting the sperm quality indicates that smoking cigarettes should be considered as a health risk in men.