Smoking and tobacco use can have a serious impact on the fertility of both men and women, and consequently the quality of life in pregnancy. These health tips by expert can help. If a woman is a regular smoker, then it has a double effect on a woman’s fertility. Smoking can harm both the eggs and the uterus. It not only affects her egg quality, but can also have endometrial effect. Many studies too have shown that smoking can have negative effects on fertility, notes Dr Apurva Satish Amarnath, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility.
“In women, smoking decreases in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) pregnancy rates by about half. Smoking also increases miscarriage rates. smoking also reduces the egg reserve of the woman which is not a reversible condition. For instance, if we are to compare two women with the same characteristics in terms of egg quality, quantity, BMI, AMH-level, among others, the chances are that the non-smoking woman will conceive faster than the smoking woman. If a woman quits smoking completely, then the chances of conception improve and the risk of miscarriage reduces,” Dr Apurva told IANSlife ahead of the International Anti-Tobacco Day on May 31.
From the male’s perspective, the carcinogen quality of cigarettes in general affects the motility of the sperm and excessive smoking can lead to the poor sperm count and other fertility problems. As compared to females, the condition can be reversible.
If a man completely gives up smoking the quality of his sperms can improve, resulting in his fertility improving in a span of 3-6 months after quitting completely, she said.
Smoking during pregnancy
According to Dr Sandeep Chadha, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Motherhood Hospital, Noida, smoking during pregnancy are dangerous for both mother and the baby.
If a mother smokes, the 4,000 harmful chemicals present in each cigarette passes directly to the baby through the mother’s bloodstreams. In such cases, the risk of stillbirth and miscarriage goes up besides an increased risk of low birth weight, baby’s heart rate, breathing problem and premature delivery, Dr Sandeep told IANSlife.
These risks to the baby multiply with the number of cigarettes smoked during pregnancy. Not only for babies, but tobacco smoking is also harmful to the mother, increasing her risk of cancers, cardiovascular disease, emphysema, and other conditions.
Passive smoking and childbirth
A study has presented that exposure to secondhand smoke was associated with lower IQs in children. For babies exposed to secondhand smoke, there is an increase in risk for developing asthma attacks, breathing problems, ear infections, impaired lung development, and coughing.
Children exposed to secondhand smoke require more ear tube surgeries than those who are not exposed. Sudden infant death syndrome is more common in babies born to women who smoked during pregnancy as well as in babies exposed to secondhand smoke. Exposure to second-hand smoking by pregnant mothers is similar to first hand smoking.
A recent report– ‘Cancer Care Delivery Challenges Amidst Coronavirus Disease – 19 (COVID-19) Outbreak’ published in the journal of Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention has pointed out that cancer patients are more susceptible to coronavirus than individuals without cancer as they are in an immunosuppressive state because of the malignancy and anticancer treatment. Oncologists should be more attentive to detect coronavirus infection early, as any type of advanced cancer is at much higher risk for unfavorable outcomes.
Author, Dr Abhishek Shankar, assistant professor in the department of radiation oncology at Lady Hardinge Medical College said that coronavirus has made it difficult to manage the cancer care delivery system.
“As we are having a lockdown in the whole country, patients can’t travel from one place to another. About 95 percent of the cancer care services are restricted to the urban areas but we also know that 70 percent of the people live in rural areas. So, there is a lot of disparity in cancer care. For cancer patients, stress is more disturbing for the patient rather than cancer itself,” Dr Shankar told ANI.
He added that in this situation, it is very difficult to manage these people as they are unable to come to the hospital as we are running only emergency services.
Talking about the report, Dr Shankar said, “We have published the paper on cancer care delivery, although guidance is that you shouldn’t delay and you should continue with the treatment. But there are many challenges that are coming right now. We have also advised cancer patients about the precautions they should take. Also, patients need to verify social media messages coming in from a credible source like the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and WHO.”Furthermore, he suggests that persons suffering from cancer should get treated from nearby hospitals and try avoiding the delay.
The cancer specialist remarked that it is a dilemma for healthcare professionals as well as patients because there is an issue regarding what to follow and what not to. “To date, there is no scientific guideline regarding the management of cancer patients in the backdrop of coronavirus outbreak,” Dr Shankar informed.
Contrary to traditional belief, researchers now say that having a child with cancer did not appear to impact parents’ risk of separation or divorce or affect future family planning.
Childhood cancer can cause feelings of fear and uncertainty among parents and burden them with many practical challenges related to caregiving and work-related obligations, according to the study published in the journal Cancer.
For the findings, the research team from the Danish Cancer Society Research Centre examined data from several registries in Denmark, linking information on parents of children diagnosed with cancer in 1982-2014 (7,066 children and 12,418 case parents) with parents of children without cancer (69,993 children and 125,014 comparison parents).
Parents were followed until 10 years after diagnosis, separation or divorce, death, emigration, or the end of 2017, whichever came first.
Overall, parents of children with cancer had a four per cent lower risk of separation and an eight per cent lower risk of divorce compared with parents of children without cancer.
Among parents of children with cancer, those who were younger had less education, and were unemployed had elevated risks for separation and divorce.
The findings showed that risks were also higher among parents of children diagnosed at a younger age.
The investigators also evaluated how the diagnosis of cancer in a child affects parents’ decisions on having another child.
They expected that parents of a child with cancer would have fewer children than parents of children without cancer and that they would postpone having another child.
This was not the case, however, as the researchers found that the childhood cancer experience did not negatively affect parents’ future family planning in Denmark.
The researchers noted that health care providers should communicate these reassuring and encouraging findings to parents, but that support should be offered if needed to improve family life in the long term. (IANS)