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Research shows smoking adds a decade to reproductive age of IVF patients

ose with male subfertility (13.6%).

More than 40% of the women were smokers at the time of undergoing their first attempt at IVF and more than 7% were overweight i.e. had a body mass of 27kg/m2 or more.

Older women had lower success rates no matter what was the cause of subfertility, with the live birth rate decreasing by 2% for each additional year of age.

"In all subgroups smokers had a lower delivery rate per treatment cycle than non-smokers," Dr Lintsen said. "The live birth rate for smokers was 28% lower than that of non-smokers. This was most marked in women who had no known cause for subfertility where the live birth rate among smokers was only 13% compared to 20% for non-smokers."

The miscarriage rate per pregnancy was also significantly higher for women who smoked, with around 21% losing their babies compared with around 16% of non-smokers.

Overweight women also fared badly with a 33% lower chance of a live birth from their first treatment cycle. As with smoking, the unfavourable effect of overweight was largest in women with unexplained subfertility. Only 14% had a live baby compared with over 18% for normal weight and nearly 21% for slightly overweight women.

Professor Didi Braat, one of the co-authors, said: "What our research clearly shows is that both smoking and being overweight unfavourably affect the live birth rate after IVF. Smoking has a devastating impact. It is comparable to adding a decade to the reproductive age of a 20-year-old. This means it makes her the equivalent of a 30-year-old non-smoker in reproductive terms.

"However, it also indicates that subfertile couples may help their chances of successful treatment by life-style changes. As the effects of smoking and overweight were greatest among women with unexplained subfertility, these results suggest that this group in particular may be able to improve the outcome of subfertility treatment by quitting smoking and losing weight."


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Source:European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology


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