Cigarette Smoking and IVF

Sérgio R. Soares; Marco A. Melo


Expert Rev of Obstet Gynecol. 2008;3(4):555-563. 

In This Article

Five-year View

As knowledge regarding the impact of cigarette smoking on reproductive health accumulates, it might be expected that couples searching for a pregnancy would tend to quit a smoking habit spontaneously. However, experience from other fields of medicine shows that such an effect is not promptly observed. Human behavior does not always follow logic and the assimilation of a concept deeply enough to determine a change in conduct may take time, sometimes generations. The situation is even more complicated when it concerns a physical addiction. Therefore, the medical establishment must play an active role in the process of diffusion of information regarding the importance of avoiding cigarette smoking. Efforts should be directed towards young generations, with the primary goal of preventing the acquisition of a smoking habit.

In the next few years, medical investigation on the mechanisms through which tobacco constituents affect reproductive physiology and IVF cycles will certainly evolve and more will be learned regarding details of molecular interactions and pathophysiological end points. New data will clarify interesting aspects, such as the risk of transmission of premutational DNA lesions to the next generation (especially through the male gamete), mechanisms of short- and long-term inhibition of ovarian response and the concomitance of reduced pregnancy rate and increased twin gestation rate in smoking oocyte recipients.


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