Women who smoke experience a one year’s delay to conception. This delay can be greater with more cigarettes smoked daily and for a longer duration of time. Women who smoke have twice the risk of a reduction in ovarian reserve, the egg pool that is called upon monthly. These delays and effects are secondary to the products contained within tobacco (cotinine and metals such as cadmium) causing the oocytes to arrest growth.
Men are not immune. How tobacco and the elements of cigarette smoke affects spermatogenesis is unclear. However, smoking cessation will demonstrate an improvement in semen parameters in as little as 3 months. There is a negative impact on ART (IVF cycles) if the male partner smokes with up to a reduction of 40% success rate.
Although exquisitely difficult, stopping smoking prior to attempting to conceive is essential impacting the lives of parents and child alike.