World No Tobacco Day 2024: Expert Explains How Smoking Can Affect Women’s Reproductive Health – Times Now

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World No Tobacco Day 2024: Expert Explains How Smoking Can Affect Women's Reproductive Health

World No Tobacco Day 2024: Expert Explains How Smoking Can Affect Women’s Reproductive Health (Image Credits: iStock)

In India, approximately 1 in 2 males and 1 in 10 females use tobacco, with smoking being the most common form of consumption, as per the World Health Organisation (WHO). Smokers are at a higher risk of developing various health issues and diseases compared to non-smokers. Further, there has been an increasing trend in female smokers, influenced by factors such as age, socioeconomic status, psychological factors, and cultural influences. The use of tobacco products, including smoking, poses significant health risks for women, impacting fertility and overall health.

Female smokers are at a greater risk of heart disease compared to males. Smoking can lead to breathing issues and increase the risk of various cancers, such as lung, breast and cervical cancers, as well as thromboembolism. To know how smoking can affect fertility, we got in touch with Dr Ruby Yadav, Consultant Fertility Specialist, Renew Healthcare, Kolkata, who explains how smoking can affect a woman’s reproductive health.

Effects of Smoking during Adolescence

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Dr Ruby Yadav shares that smoking can lead to painful and irregular periods, respiratory problems, decreased physical fitness, concentration issues, mood swings or even depression.

Smoking and Fertility

“Smoking has been linked to reduced fertility by accelerating ovarian ageing and leading to a decrease in egg count, ovulation problems, and thus resulting in up to 30 per cent lower pregnancy rates. It can also damage the genetic material in eggs, resulting in an increased risk of miscarriages,” Dr Ruby Yadav said.

Smoking and Pregnancy

Dr Ruby Yadav explains, “Smoking during pregnancy poses significant risks, including growth restriction, low birth weight, preterm delivery, pregnancy complications, and birth defects such as cleft lip and cleft palate. It is also associated with premature deliveries, ectopic pregnancies, and chromosome abnormalities, such as Down syndrome.”

Effects of Smoking on Unborn Child

Dr Ruby Yadav shares that infants born to mothers who smoke during pregnancy are at higher risk for sudden infant death syndrome, delayed growth and development, and long-term health issues such as bronchial asthma, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases.

Menopause and Smoking

“Early onset of menopause, severe menopausal symptoms and reduced bone health can be seen in women who smoke,” she said.

“It is imperative for females to quit smoking to mitigate these risks. Raising awareness and providing targeted support can empower women to make informed choices and reduce the impact of tobacco-related diseases, ensuring a healthier future for women,” Dr Ruby Yadav further added.

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