Q: Exactly how bad is smoking when I'm trying to get pregnant?
A: Smoking is not birth control, but the best evidence we have says smoking decreases your monthly pregnancy rate by half. More smokers are infertile than nonsmokers. Smoking can damage your eggs and cause you to lose them faster than you should. As a result, women who smoke go through menopause earlier on
average than women who don't smoke. If you get pregnant, being exposed to smoke also can have a negative impact on your baby. Recent data have shown that children of smokers have fewer eggs and sperm than nonsmokers. So your smoking can affect your children's chances of getting pregnant.
-- Dr. Ringland S. Murray Jr., Tennessee Reproductive Medicine; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County
Readers: To submit a question for a medical doctor, e-mail it to Clint Cooper at email@example.com. See this space each week for answers.