Does smoking cause infertility?

Numerous studies have shown that smoking can have negative effects on fertility. In women, smoking decreases in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) pregnancy rates by about half. Smoking also increases miscarriage rates. In men, smoking decreases sperm function and impairs fertilization.

The effects of smoking stay in the body for several months, which is why the attitude of "I will stop when I get pregnant" may not work. The longer you have not smoked, the better your chances for pregnancy. Fertility doctors strongly recommend that both partners stop smoking at least two to three months before fertility treatments.

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Smoking can cause fertility problems for you or your partner. Women who smoke have more trouble getting pregnant than women who don't smoke. In men, smoking can damage sperm and contribute to impotence (erectile dysfunction, or ED). Both problems can make it harder for a man to father a baby when he and his partner are ready.

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Women planning a future pregnancy should know that smokers have much higher rates of infertility, early aging of eggs and tubal pregnancies. Once pregnant, smokers have a higher risk of complications such as premature labor and placental problems.
Smoking has been associated with infertility. Heavy use of alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine can also reduce fertility. This is especially true for men.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Smoking does not definitively cause infertility and it would be inaccurate to say that if you smoke, you will be never be able to become a parent. But smoking might make it difficult for couples to conceive.

In women, smoking can contribute to issues with ovulation or implantation, both of which are key to getting pregnant. There is also some evidence that smoking may be linked to an increased chance of miscarriage, low birth weight and premature birth.

In men, there is some evidence that suggests smoking affects the motility of sperm -- that is, the ability of those little Olympians to swim correctly to fertilize an egg. So if you're hoping to become a parent, stop smoking to increase your chances.
According to a report in Environmental Health Perspective, chemicals in tobacco smoke alter endocrine function, perhaps within the ovaries, which in turn affects release of pituitary hormones. This endocrine disruption likely contributes to the reported associations of smoking with adverse reproductive outcomes, including menstrual dysfunction, infertility, and earlier menopause.
Robert S. Kaufmann, MD
Internal Medicine

First of all if you are trying to get pregnant you absolutely should not smoke.  It has been found that people that do smoke have a more difficult time getting pregnant.  The exact reason behind that is unclear but my recommendation is no way that anybody that is trying to get pregnant should be smoking.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
No.  Smoking can cause impotence.  Smoking can cause brain dysfunction in your offspring, and behavioral problems in offspring, but smoking does not cause infertility in total.  Smoking decreases the changes of normal sperm and normal eggs, and that may make pregnancy less likely, but it does not make it any place near as less likely as a condom would.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.