Up in SmokeFor those couples that are working to get pregnant, there are a few things you can do to help your body achieve conception. One important thing is to quit some of your bad habits that keep you from regular ovulation and disrupt your hormone levels. One of these bad habits is smoking.

Why Smoking Is Bad for Fertility

There are ingredients in cigarettes that are bad for your fertility (and your health in general). These include nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar. Here’s how:

Nicotine is used as an insecticide. It has been linked to poor fetus development.
Carbon monoxide is a poison. When it finds its way into the bloodstream, the poison is delivered all over the body, as the body doesn’t differentiate it from the oxygen that is also circulating.
Tar accumulates in a smoker’s lungs. The tar buildup turns the lung tissue black in a chronic smoker’s lungs. This buildup leads to lung disease and impedes proper lung function, keeping important oxygen away from the reproductive system.

It’s not uncommon for female chronic smokers to have infertility issues. Cigarette chemicals such as the ones listed above wreak havoc on your fertility system. From increased ovulation irregularities to early menopause, to chronic health conditions such as cancer, smoking isn’t doing any good for your ability to get pregnant.

However, smoking’s effects on fertility are not limited to women. Men also have severe consequences of lighting up. Smoking is known to lower the amount of sperm in their count as well as diminish their motility. Furthermore, the disruptions in their hormone levels contribute to erectile dysfunction.

While the consequences of smoking on fertility are dire, quitting is surprisingly efficient at turning things around. Numerous studies have proved that men and women who quit smoking two months prior to trying to get pregnant increased their chances of conception significantly.

If you or your partner is ready to quit, talk to your doctor about any programs that can help. If you don’t want your doctor’s help, be sure to choose a program that works with your personality. For example, start by setting small goals for your smoking, lengthening the time between cigarettes, until you are going without them. For some, however, cold turkey is the only way to go.

However, if you decide to quit smoking, do it before you try to get pregnant. The damage the bad habit can have on conception is severe. It could be the contributing cause of fertility problems you or your partner are experiencing. It’s never a bad day to quit smoking, but today is much better than tomorrow — at least as far as your fertility is concerned.


Nordqvist, Christian. “Why Is Smoking Bad For You? “Medical News Today. (2011). Web. 5 Jun. 2015. .

“5 Facts About Smoking and Infertility.” Attain Fertility. Web. 5 Jun. 2015. .

“Quit Smoking; Protect Your Fertility.” Attain Fertility. Web. 5 Jun. 2015. .