Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago ivf

Smoking Tobacco and the Effect of Cigarette Smoking on Fertility, Infertility and IVF Success

There are many known causes of infertility and some are more absolute than others. For example, if a woman has blocked fallopian tubes, or a man has a very low sperm count or low motility then we know the cause of the couples infertility problem (or at least one of the causes).

However, there are other fertility issues that are difficult to characterize as "the problem" - but we know that often they are at least factors contributing to the infertility. Cigarette smokers are known to be more likely to have have several fertility issues as compared to non-smokers.

Relationship between female tobacco smoking and fertility and infertility

  • Over 20 published studies in the medical literature have detailed the adverse effects of tobacco smoking on fertility
  • Tobacco smoke contains several hundred substances, many of which are toxic
  • A study done in mice showed that nicotine had disruptive effects on egg maturation, ovulation rates, and fertilization rates. The study also showed more chromosomal abnormalities in the eggs exposed to nicotine.
  • Ovarian reserve and egg quantity and quality are reduced in women who smoke
  • Smokers have lower numbers of follicles when stimulated for in vitro fertilization, IVF
  • Smokers have lower numbers of eggs retrieved with in vitro fertilization
  • Smokers have lower rates of fertilization of the eggs with IVF
  • Smokers have increased rates of miscarriage with in vitro fertilization pregnancies

One study showed that the chance for an IVF pregnancy was 2.7 times higher for women who have never smoked as compared to women that do (or have previously). The same study showed that if the woman smoked for over 5 years, the risk was increased to 4.8

There is also some evidence that male smoking decreases success rates with IVF. It is not known whether this effect would be caused directly by the sperm, or whether it represents a negative effect on the egg and embryo quality through passive exposure (second hand exposure).

  • If you smoke - quit, and if you are having trouble getting pregnant or particularly if you are planning to go through IVF - quit even sooner.
  • Fertility improves after quitting, and IVF success rates are higher in women that used to smoke (they have quit) than in women that are still smoking during IVF treatment cycles.

4920 N. Central Ave
Suite 2C

Chicago, IL 60630

Phone: (773) 794-1818
Fax: (773) 794-1819

30 Tower Court
Suite F
Gurnee, IL 60031

Phone: (847) 662-1818
Fax: (847) 662-3001

820 E. Terra Cotta Ave (Rte 176)
Suite 118
Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Phone: (815) 356-1818
Fax: (815) 356-1866



I am so grateful for Advanced Fertility Center. I just had my son Leland. I want to thank Dr. Catenacci and all of the nurses that helped us. Especially Ashley in the Crystal Lake office. You made this process easier by being supportive and positive. Thank you very much!


Dr. Sherban and his staff are the most amazing, compassionate, and supportive people. After almost 5 years of trying to conceive, going through numerous tests and meeting with another clinic closer to home, who told me my chances even with IVF were still very low, a good friend recommended advanced fertility center of Chicago. Best decision we ever made! We now have 2 amazing children who are now 5 and 3 years old! I cannot stress enough how amazing this staff is, they make you feel like family!


Our experience was amazing with Dr. Cantanucci and all of the nurses (especially Ashley). After ttc for 4 years and at 41 years of age, we became pregnant after 1 round of IVF, and had our beautiful boy this past October. Can't thank them enough!


2/7/15 our son was born all thanks to the assistance of Dr. Sherbahn and his staff. Everyone was so helpful and here for all our questions, worries, etc. They want this for you just as much as you want this for you! Handled with pure professionalism and care from the very start! Thank you advanced fertility!