Womens Health

I Want A Baby!

IVF, The Modern Miracle

After several tries, a couple finds they are unable to conceive.  A woman with no desire for a marital relationship still wants the joy of being a mother.  Several miscarriages have left a couple wondering if they will every have a baby.  These are just a few of the myriad scenarios prompting a visit to a fertility clinic.  IVF, in vitro fertilization, is becoming the primary option for infertile couples and single women wanting to conceive and give birth.  In vitro fertilization is the process whereby eggs which have been fertilized outside of the womb (in vitro) are transferred into the woman's uterus intending to establish a successful pregnancy.  The method, originally developed in England in the 1970s, has become commonplace and has a relatively high success rate.

What Affects Success?

There are several factors which can affect IVF.  Life style has a very profound influence upon the chances of IVF treatment being a success.  For example, stopping smoking is not only an excellent way to improve health, it also increases the chances of getting pregnant.  We are all aware of the fact that smoking during pregnancy presents health and development risks to the baby.  A lesser known fact is that women who cease smoking before they try to become pregnant dramatically increase their chances of doing so.  Statistics indicate that women smokers take three times longer to get pregnant than non-smokers.  Other studies have shown that there is an increased depletion of egg cells in the ovaries caused by the release of harmful substances produced by nicotine break-down.  This can lead smokers to experience menopause up to four years earlier than women who don't smoke.  Add to this information the increased risk of miscarriage, possible ectopic pregnancy and genetic abnormalities incurred by heavy smokers and you have to wonder why people smoke at all.

It's A Matter of Importance

This information is very important for all women desiring to have children.  For those who are considering IVF, smoking cessation is vital.  Studies have indicated that women who smoke require twice as many IVF attempts to become pregnant as those who don't smoke.  And it's not just women smokers who should be concerned.  Men who smoke have been shown to have significantly poorer sperm than that of non-smokers.  Men whose mothers smoked during pregnancy have equally poor sperm.

Consider also that passive smoking has a profound effect as well.  A woman exposed to second-hand smoke can be detrimentally affected.  The bottom line is this - if you really do want to have a baby, the first thing both parts of the equation should do is stop smoking.

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