World No Tobacco Day: World No Tobacco Day: Childhood cancer, cleft lip and other risks that male and female smoking can cause to babies

We all know that nothing good can ever come out of smoking, yet 29% of Indian adults are tobacco users, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO). Although these people are at risk of significant damage to their own health – they are more prone to lung cancer, heart disease, etc. – they also ruin their chances of having a fulfilling sex life, as well as those of becoming parents of a healthy child. .

On World No Tobacco Day, here’s a look at how smoking affects reproductive behavior.

Increase in infertility

In India, there are several women who smoke or use tobacco and studies have already shown that smoking can lead to infertility in women. In 1998, an article titled “Smoking and Female Infertility: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” explained that women who smoke are 60% more likely to be infertile than non-smokers. Women who smoke also experience frequent egg loss, which consequently leads to infertility. In addition, smoking has an impact on egg DNA in women.

Experts also claim that quitting smoking thickens the lining of the uterus, increasing a woman’s chances of getting pregnant.

In men, smoking causes another host of problems that can lead to infertility. They have sluggish sperm and often have a 23% lower sperm count according to one study and there are cases where sperm form and function are also affected.

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Prenatal harm

Smoking can also harm the child before birth as well as the pregnant mother, increasing the chances of bleeding during pregnancy and studies show that babies can also be born with birth defects due to the smoking habit of the mother.

In fact, according to the CDC, smoking can increase a baby’s risk of being born with a cleft lip, cleft palate, or both. For those of you who don’t know, a cleft is a space in a baby’s lip or in the roof of their mouth (palate). This can cause difficulty eating and requires surgery.

Some research also claims that the sperm of male smokers has an increased risk of DNA fragmentation, which means that the DNA in the sperm is damaged and can lead to increased risks of miscarriage, among others, such as the development and implantation of embryos.

In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, “Compared to children whose fathers had never smoked cigarettes, children whose fathers had smoked more than five pack-years before conception had a 3.8 times higher risk of acute lymphocytic leukemia, 4.5 times higher risk of lymphoma, 2.7 times higher risk of brain tumors and 1.7 times higher risk for all cancers combined. (A pack-year is a cumulative measure of smoking: a pack-year is equivalent to smoking one pack of cigarettes a day for a year.)”

Smoking and sex life

It’s not just about procreation. Smoking also strongly affects libido in both men and women. While in women the effects are less pronounced than in men, women are (like their male counterparts) at risk for delayed orgasm when smoking.

For men, the consequences of smoking are increasingly disastrous, vis-à-vis their sex life. They not only have a greater risk of erectile dysfunction and significantly decrease sexual satisfaction.

Christine E. Phillips