Effects of Smoking, Alcohol, and Drug Use on Fertility

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We are all familiar that smoking, alcohol, and drug use can have a negative impact on your life. It is not only the chances for cancers that increase but also the risk for infertility. Unhealthy habits such as substance abuse and smoking will decrease your amount of sperm cell count. A low sperm cell count is the reason for infertility in men. Women who smoke may increase the risk of ovulation problems. 


How Does Smoking Affect Male Fertility? 

Smoking is associated with a lower sperm count and higher sperm motility. Male infertility caused by smoking can be reversed if you stop smoking. The damage does not need to be permanent. One study found that sperm count and motility increased within three months after the participants quit smoking. Erectile dysfunction can also be caused due to smoking, an erection will only happen if the blood vessels in a penis dilate. Smoking can harm these blood vessels and cause erectile dysfunction in men as young as 20. 


How Does Smoking Affect Female Fertility?

Smoking can decrease your chances of becoming pregnant, it harms your body, especially on your reproductive system. Smoking during pregnancy can also increase the chances of maternal and foetal health problems. Other problems are complications during pregnancy such as premature birth, low birth weight, and stillbirths. Smoking can affect the number and quality of egg cells that you produce. The damage caused by smoking does not have to be permanent. Women who stopped smoking have shown an increase in fertility in just three months. 


Can I Get Pregnant If My Spouse is Smoking and I Stopped Smoking?

Yes, it is possible for you to get pregnant still, but smoking can decrease your chances of falling pregnant. Males who smoke will have a lower sperm count and females who smoke will have ovulation problems. This can make it more challenging to fall pregnant. It would be better if both intended parents stopped smoking. 


Can I Have IVF If I Smoke?

Your doctor will most likely ask you to stop smoking before you start fertility treatment. Smoking decreases fertility in both men and women, even when using IVF, smoking can reduce fertility effects caused by smoking. 


How Does Alcohol Affect Female Fertility?

Research has found that women who drink in moderation (3-5 drinks per week), during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (second half of the menstrual cycle), resulted in a 44% reduced chance of conceiving, then when compared to non-drinkers. Alcohol can harm the uterus lining where the embryo will need to implant, alcohol also reduces the quality of egg cells. 


How Does Alcohol Affect Male Fertility?

Alcohol consumption in men can cause fertility problems. Long-term use of alcohol in men can reduce gonadotropin release, and testicular atrophy and decrease testosterone and sperm production. When alcohol affects the testes, it will directly affect the quality of sperm cells, they will not have the ability to swim to the egg cell for fertilisation. 


How Do Drugs Affect Female Fertility?

Using drugs such as cannabis can change your hormone production and release which will have a negative impact on ovulation, reducing your chances of falling pregnant. 


How Do Drugs Affect Male Fertility?

Research has shown that high THC doses can cause abnormally formed sperm cell production. If the sperm cell is malformed it will not have the ability to fertilise the egg cell when you are trying to conceive

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