The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) states that 10 percent of women need help with fertility. This is roughly 6.1 million women that are seeking help in order to get pregnant, especially after the age of 40. If you are one of these women, just know that you are not alone.
Hope is not lost if you are told you are infertile. Treatment options do exist for those that would like to seek out methods to get pregnant. For some couples, getting pregnant may seem like it is second nature (Duggars, I’m looking at you!). But for others, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and assisted reproductive technology (ART) methods may become the only options. However, these two types of couples are not the only ones that exist. The majority of couples lie in between these two categories. Before making a major decision like seeking medical treatment to help get pregnant, you may want to take a look at your lifestyle.
Fertility expert and doctors cite that smoking is an important factor in getting pregnant. Conventional wisdom dictates that pregnant women should not smoke and one should not smoke around pregnant women, not many know that smoking makes a negative impact on fertility.
“It can dramatically reduce both male and female fertility and it really impacts conception rates,” says Frederick Licciardi, MD, associate director of reproductive endocrinology at NYU Medical Center and associate professor at the NYU School of Medicine. To further this point, the journal “Fertility and Sterility” states that sperm count in smokers are on average 17 percent lower when compared to non-smokers.
According to Margareta D. Pisarska, MD, co-director of Center for Reproductive Medicine at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and editor-in-chief of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine News, “smokers not only have a higher rate of infertility overall, but also those who do get pregnant take a much longer time to conceive.”
All of these reasons culminate in the need to eliminate smoking from your life. Quitting is difficult to do but if you want to get pregnant, you will have to quit anyway and by quitting, you may get pregnant faster and easier.