Back to Articles Published: 26 March 2021

How does smoking impact your fertility?

Whether it be curiosity or you’re actively trying for a baby, it’s important to be aware of all the things that affect your fertility. Smoking is one of them.

Why? Because smoking affects various parts of the body responsible for conceiving a child and the environment it’ll be in until they’re born. More specifically, it affects the following: 

  • Men’s and women’s hormone production.
  • The DNA in eggs and sperm (which can affect a future child’s health).
  • The fertilised egg’s ability to reach the uterus.
  • The environment inside the uterus, where the baby grows.

Research has shown that smokers are more likely to experience infertility than non-smokers, with every cigarette smoked increasing the risk of miscarriage by 1%. 

It’s also important to remember that passive smoking is almost as damaging to your unborn baby’s health as smoking yourself, and women who are exposed to other people’s smoke also take longer to get pregnant.

To put things into perspective, fathers who smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day, at the time of conception, increases the child’s risk of childhood leukaemia.

But there’s good news. The effects of smoking on eggs, sperm and fertility are reversible. Whether it’s the future mother or father who smokes, quitting will increase the chance of conceiving a healthy baby.

Whilst we would always advise quitting smoking altogether, it is particularly advised to quit at least three months before trying for a baby. This helps to ensure that the egg and sperm are healthy when the baby is conceived.