BEACON TRANSCRIPT – We’ve all heard that smoking is bad but passive smoking can also affect your health when it comes to fertility issues or menopause.
Although there have been many studies made on the effect smoking has on our health, they’ve usually been done on smokers. A team of scientists from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute have been curious to find out what effects does smoking have on non-smokers. Therefore, they conducted a study in which they evaluated generally healthy women, who were postmenopausal. They looked for different types of health issues in relation with the exposure of these women to tobacco.
Issues of fertility were studied on 88,000 subjects, were as menopause issues were studied on approximately 80,000 subjects. According to their findings both women who were smokers as well as the ones who have been exposed to secondhand smoke were more likely to have infertility problems reach menopause earlier in life.
The average age for starting menopause is 50, so for example if a woman reaches this moment in her forties, this might be related to her being an active or passive smoker. In numbers, smokers, whether former or current were 14 percent more prone to infertility than women who never smoked.
Concerning early menopause, in the case of smokers, menopause was 26 percent more likely to install earlier. Moreover, early menopause seems to be linked to early death regardless of the cause.
On the other hand, the non-smokers have been, of course, exposed to different levels of secondhand smoke throughout their lives. The ones who were exposed to the highest level of smoke had an 18 percent higher probability of having fertility problems as well as an early menopause.
Smokers reached menopause 22 months earlier than non-smokers, while passive smokers reached menopause about 13 months earlier, so they were clearly affected, despite being exposed only to secondhand smoke.
The main reason for this is that smoke interacts and influences hormones which are of course inextricably linked to a woman’s fertility or menopause.
Although, infertility is not a given, smoking or exposure to smoke can affect a pregnancy, leading to a premature birth, birth defects and even infant death.
Hopefully, the findings of this study will encourage women to quit smoking and try to limit their exposure to secondhand smoke as it can and will most probably help them have a healthier life.
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