Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Fertility Unit
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Things to consider before Starting Treatment

Giving up smoking

The Fertility Unit strongly encourages all patients to stop smoking before beginning fertility treatment.

Why give up smoking?

Smoking reduces fertility in both men and women. A series of expert scientific reports has shown that smokers have less chance of getting pregnant. Studies have shown a poorer response to fertility treatment amongst smokers when compared to non-smokers.

Effects on male fertility

Smoking reduces the quality of semen. Men who smoke have a lower sperm count than non-smokers, and the semen often contains a higher number of abnormal sperm.

Effects on female fertility

Women who smoke are twice as likely to be infertile as non-smokers.
Smoking may also reduce the likelihood of fertilization, implantation and successful pregnancy following fertility treatment.

Smoking is associated with an increased risk of ectopic (or tubal) pregnancy and miscarriage.

Women who stop smoking take no longer to get pregnant than women who have never smoked.

The effects of smoking during pregnancy

Research has also shown that smoking increases the risk of complications in pregnancy and can cause:

  • Increased risk of birth defects
  • Slow foetal growth
  • Placental complications
  • Perinatal death
  • Premature babies
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • ¬†Low birth weight in the baby
  • Premature rupture of membranes

Quitline is an organisation that helps people give up smoking. Phone: 131 848 or ask for a brochure at the Fertility Unit.