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Smoking and fertility

If you're a smoker, or if your partner is a smoker, it can really affect your ability to conceive.

We all know that smoking can cause cancer, heart disease and a range of other health problems. Many smokers don’t realise that smoking can also affect both men’s and women’s fertility. 

Each stage of the reproductive process is affected by smoking. Sperm and eggs can be harmed by toxins in tobacco smoke (such as cadmium and cotinine). Smoking can also damage DNA in eggs and sperm. 

Research shows that the risk of infertility among smokers may be twice that of non-smokers.

Also, passive smoking (inhaling someone else’s smoke) is almost as harmful to a woman’s fertility as smoking. Even if it’s only your partner who smokes, it can greatly reduce your fertility.

Putting it simply, quitting smoking will not only offer immediate health benefits but it will increase your chance of conceiving. 

As soon as you stop smoking fertility begins to improve. 

Given the risks for your baby, regarding smoking and pregnancy, quitting also gives your child the best start. You’ll also have more energy to run around with your kids, there will be no risk of passive smoking and you’ll be a positive role model for your family.

Chat to your partner about quitting. Couples who quit together are more likely to be successful than if they try quitting alone. 

To discuss this further, call Quitline or request a Quitline callback. For more information on fertility, visit

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