Relationships and Sex 'I used to smoke—did I screw up my fertility?'

We asked an M.D. to get honest with us.

  • Published:
did smoking in the past affect fertility play

did smoking in the past affect fertility

(Illustration by Julia Rothman)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Every month, we send some of your biggest questions on nutrition, health, and more to our panel of experts to answer.

The question, "When I was younger, I smoked cigarettes and weed. I haven't touched either in five years, but did I do lasting damage to my fertility?" was answered by Sheeva Talebian, M.D.

The bad news: You may have. Women who are current cigarette smokers take longer to get pregnant, have increased pregnancy complications, and have lower pregnancy rates after fertility treatments. These same findings are noted—but to a lesser degree—in past smokers. A history of smoking does inflict other damage; for example, smoking accelerates the rate of egg loss.

The data with marijuana is less clear. As recreational use becomes more prevalent and legal in various states, we will learn more about how it affects female fertility. I think it's very likely we'll find a negative impact similar to tobacco use. Smoking marijuana exposes you to some of the toxins found in tobacco; vaping and consuming edibles may let you bypass this form of toxic exposure, but it's still unclear if there are other repercussions from using those formulations. Overall, unfortunately, our reproductive organs are exposed to everything we have ingested and inhaled, and we can't totally erase the consequences of consistent tobacco and marijuana use.

But here's the good news! By stopping when you did, you prevented years of further damage. And if you were a sporadic smoker, take note: Infrequent smoking has only a nominal effect, so if you smoked a few cigarettes or inhaled a couple of joints in your younger years, don't worry. In any case, if you're having trouble conceiving, see a fertility specialist who can assess your situation and prescribe treatments to help.

This article originally appeared in the December 2017 issue of Women's Health. For more great advice, pick up a copy of the issue on newsstands now!

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Ghana?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +233507713497, Social Media @pulseghana: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email:

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos

Top Articles

1 Beauty Bits OMG Kate Middleton looks amazing at the royal wedding — 3...bullet
2 Odd Enough Antifungal resistance is getting worse — And it could make...bullet
3 Girl Smarts 5 rules that actually work if you’re trying to lose weightbullet
4 Girl Smarts Ebola outbreak 2018: everything you need to knowbullet
5 Girl Smarts 'I’ve lost more than 100 pounds and I've never...bullet
6 Girl Smart Anna Victoria: ‘I hated my body—until I stopped...bullet
7 Healthy Sex 3 new cases of 'super gonorrhea' have been...bullet
8 Beauty Bits Stretch mark creams: Should you even bother?bullet
9 Odd Enough An 18-year-old developed ‘wet lung’ after...bullet
10 Girl Smarts Alert: Jennifer Garner’s trainer just...bullet

Top Videos

1 Sexual comfort Sex positions women hatebullet
2 The Haberstrohs do the #ALSPepperChallenge for Pattybullet
3 Get To Know Aly Raismanbullet
4 Postpartum 7 ways Ghanaians can get into shape after that baby...bullet
5 Fertility Herbs and spices to help you get pregnant fastbullet
6 Ingrown Toenail Removalbullet
7 Baby Boy Just Couldn't Wait!bullet
8 Weight Loss Tips Weight-Loss Tips for Women in Their Twentiesbullet

Womens Health