Vaping and reproductive health: Are the all-new popular vapes a friend or a foe? | Health - Hindustan Times
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Vaping and reproductive health: Are the all-new popular vapes a friend or a foe of fertility?

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Aug 16, 2023 08:48 PM IST

Is vaping a friend or a foe when it comes to fertility? Experts shed light on the potential effects of the all-new popular vapes on reproductive health

Vaping, the act of inhaling and exhaling vapor produced by electronic cigarettes or other similar devices, has gained immense popularity in recent years but while it has been touted as a safer alternative to traditional smoking, concerns have arisen regarding its impact on fertility. Extensive research has shed light on the potential effects of vaping on reproductive health, raising the question: Is vaping a friend or a foe when it comes to fertility?

Vaping and reproductive health: Are the all-new popular vapes a friend or a foe of fertility? (Photo by Ernst-Günther Krause (NID) on Unsplash)
Vaping and reproductive health: Are the all-new popular vapes a friend or a foe of fertility? (Photo by Ernst-Günther Krause (NID) on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Aneesha Grover, Infertility Specialist at Nova IVF Fertility, shared, “Studies have indicated that vaping may have detrimental effects on both male and female fertility. In males, vaping has been associated with decreased sperm quality and quantity. The chemicals present in e-cigarette vapor, such as nicotine and formaldehyde, have been shown to disrupt sperm production and impair sperm motility. Furthermore, the heat generated by vaping devices can raise the temperature of the testicles, which is known to have a negative impact on sperm production.”

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She revealed, “For females, vaping has been linked to disruptions in the menstrual cycle and alterations in hormone levels. Nicotine, a key component of vaping liquids, has been shown to decrease the production of estrogen, which is crucial for proper ovulation and reproductive health. Moreover, studies have suggested that vaping during pregnancy can lead to adverse outcomes, including preterm birth and low birth weight. It is important to note that the long-term effects of vaping on fertility are still being researched, and the existing data may not capture the full extent of the risks involved. Additionally, the wide variety of vaping products and their differing compositions make it challenging to draw definitive conclusions.”

Dr Aneesha Grover highlighted, “Remember, while vaping has gained popularity as a perceived safer alternative to smoking, the evidence suggests that it may pose risks to fertility. Both male and female reproductive health can be affected by the chemicals present in e-cigarette vapor, potentially leading to decreased fertility and adverse pregnancy outcomes. As research in this field continues to evolve, individuals concerned about their fertility should exercise caution when using vaping devices and consider alternative options for nicotine consumption.”

Bringing her expertise to the same, Dr Ankita Kaushal, Consultant - Motherhood Fertility and IVF at Kharghar in Mumbai, explained, “When a long-time smoker wants to give up smoking, vaping is generally considered to be the healthier option. The issue is that nicotine and other common poisons present in cigarettes are still present in vaping cartridges, so you are not really breaking the unhealthy habit; rather, you are merely shifting it to something new. Multiple ongoing researches are now evaluating the full impact of vaping on reproductive function, however, the totality of the data gathered so far indicates that vaping may be harmful to fertility for both men and women.”

She elaborated, “In men, smoking can lead to lower sperm counts and motility, increases DNA fragmentation sperms, as well as an increase in the number of sperm with aberrant shapes, which can lead to lower sperm quality in males. The sperm's capacity to fertilize eggs may be diminished by smoking. Egg loss is accelerated by chemicals like nicotine, cyanide, and carbon monoxide. Eggs cannot regenerate or be replaced after they have died. Additionally, as compared to non-smokers, menopause strikes women who smoke 1 to 4 years earlier. Vaping during pregnancy can potentially have a negative impact on fetal development and hinder newborns' and kids' growth.”

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