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Cigarette smoking and Reproductive function

Cigarette smoking and Reproductive function

Authors: Sérgio Reis Soares, Marco Melo

(Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology- 2008; 20: 281-291)

Purpose of the review: To perform a systematic review of the literature on the relationship between cigarette smoking and reproductive function. Whenever possible, this review is focused on the most recently published studies (mainly the last two years). However, in many instances older literature was too relevant no to be taken into account.

Recent findings: tobacco compounds exert a deleterious effect on the process of ovarian follicle maturation. This effect is expressed by worse IVF parameters in cycles performed to smoking women. Also, uterine receptiveness is significantly altered by a smoking habit. In males, cigarette smoking reduces sperm production and increases oxidative stress and DNA damage. Spermatozoa from smokers have reduced fertilizing capacity and embryos display lower implantation rates. Even in uterus exposition to tobacco constituents leads to reduced sperm count in adult life.

Summary: a strong body of evidence indicates that the negative effect of cigarette smoking on fertility comprises fairly every system involved in the reproductive process. Couples in reproductive age should be strongly discouraged to smoke.

Keywords: cigarette smoking, fertility, ovarian function, uterine receptiveness, spermatozoa.