WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, I SMOKED CI­GARETTES AND WEED. I HAVEN’T TOUCHED EI­THER IN FIVE YEARS, BUT DID I DO LAST­ING DAM­AGE TO MY FER­TIL­ITY?

Women's Health (South Africa) - - ASK US ANYTHING -

AN­SWER

Fer­til­ity spe­cial­ist Dr Sheeva Talebian says, “The bad news: you may have. Women who are cur­rent cig­a­rette smok­ers take longer to get preg­nant, have in­creased preg­nancy com­pli­ca­tions and have lower preg­nancy rates af­ter fer­til­ity treat­ments. These same find­ings are noted – but to a lesser de­gree – in past smok­ers. A his­tory of smok­ing does in­flict other dam­age; for ex­am­ple, smok­ing ac­cel­er­ates the rate of egg loss. The data with mar­i­juana is less clear. As recre­ational use be­comes more preva­lent and le­gal, we will learn more about how it af­fects fe­male fer­til­ity. I think it’s very likely we’ll find a neg­a­tive im­pact sim­i­lar to to­bacco use. Smok­ing mar­i­juana ex­poses you to some of the tox­ins found in to­bacco; va­p­ing and con­sum­ing edi­bles may let you by­pass this form of toxic ex­po­sure, but it’s still un­clear if there are other reper­cus­sions from us­ing those for­mu­la­tions. Over­all, un­for­tu­nately, our re­pro­duc­tive or­gans are ex­posed to ev­ery­thing we have in­gested and in­haled and we can’t to­tally erase the con­se­quences of con­sis­tent to­bacco and mar­i­juana use. But here’s the good news! By stop­ping when you did, you pre­vented years of fur­ther dam­age. And if you were a spo­radic smoker, take note: in­fre­quent smok­ing has only a nom­i­nal ef­fect, so if you smoked a few ci­garettes or in­haled a cou­ple of joints in your younger years, don’t worry. In any case, if you’re hav­ing trou­ble con­ceiv­ing, see a fer­til­ity spe­cial­ist who can as­sess your sit­u­a­tion and pre­scribe treat­ments to help.”

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