It’s national No Smoking Day this week, and whilst everyone knows smoking is bad for your health, not as many people realise it’s bad for fertility too.
Smoking can affect:
- Your ovarian reserve – how many eggs you have remaining
- How soon you start the menopause
- Ovarian function
- Egg quality
Because it affects your fertility in so many ways, it means egg donation or egg-sharing isn’t possible if you smoke.
Why egg donors and egg sharers have to be non-smokers
Eggs for donation have to the highest quality to give patients the best chance of success, which rules out smokers from donating because of its likely impact on egg quality.
Smoking may also mean that you don’t respond well to ovarian stimulation, an essential part of the process that results in mature eggs for donation.
If there’s the risk of a poor response we can’t accept you as an egg donor not only because the number and quality of eggs for donation may be low, but also because of the potential risk to your own health.
If you’re hoping to have IVF and egg-share, smoking also results in lower IVF success rates and increases the risk of pregnancy complications.
Stop smoking for egg donation and fertility
The good news is that if you quit smoking now – and that includes the use of e-cigarettes - in three months time you may be able to donate eggs or egg-share. Your fertility will start to improve as soon as you stop smoking.
Regular nicotine testing is part of the egg donation and egg-sharing process, so you have to be committed to remaining smoke-free during your egg donation and egg-sharing IVF cycle.
Quit smoking support
For help to stop smoking, the NHS has plenty of online resources including tips, advice, a community forum and an App offering daily support and motivation. If you have any questions about donating eggs, being an egg-sharer and smoking, our Donation Team is happy to help on 0161 300 2734.
If you’d like to be an egg donor with us, you can apply online.