No Smoking Day 2022: How Smoking Affects Menstrual Functions of Women

Let us understand all the aspects of how smoking can negatively impact a woman’s health particularly menstrual health.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarUpdated at: Mar 09, 2022 12:10 IST
No Smoking Day 2022: How Smoking Affects Menstrual Functions of Women

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Irregular menstrual cycles are a headache to most women, and many factors cause them, but one factor that is often ignored is cigarette smoking. We all are well aware that cigarette smoking is injurious to health. It can harm anybody and any gender, but some of nicotine's detrimental effects are limited to women only. Every woman sometimes struggles to get her menstrual cycle on time. But their smoking habits negatively impact and exacerbate their symptoms each month. Refer to this article as Dr. Sangeeta Gomes, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Sarjapur Bangalore explains the catastrophic link between smoking and women’s health this No Smoking Day to spread awareness amongst women.

How does smoking affect menstruation?

Smoking affects a woman's menstrual functions in various ways. On No Smoking Day, here are some compelling reasons why you should quit smoking now! 

Smoking worsens Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) symptoms

The nicotine present in cigarettes is proven to worsen the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms in women during their cycle as it causes hormonal imbalance. If they are heavy smokers, they may feel extra depressed, irritated, sleep-deprived, and have extremely painful cramps before the first day of the cycle. Women who smoke and suffer from the premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) due to smoking will face even more severe PMS symptoms. Heavy smoking is also known to increase the risk of a menstrual cycle lasting less than 25 days. 

How does smoking affect menstruation

Higher Risk of Cervical and Rectal Cancer

Smoking puts women at a higher risk of rectal and cervical cancer, and tobacco by-products are often found in the cervical mucus of women who smoke. By smoking, a woman is twice as likely to get cervical cancer than those who don't. It is also observed that premenopausal women who smoke are six times more likely to get rectal cancer than their counterparts. 

Also Read: Tobacco Cessation Counselling Can Help Quit Smoking, Doctor Explains In Detail

smoking cause cervical cancer

Smoking can cause Fertility Problems

Smoking negatively affects every phase of conception.

  • Smokers have irregular menstrual cycles, leading to a higher risk of not ovulating.
  • Nicotine also interferes with the function of fallopian tubes, and obstructs the eggs from travelling to the uterus normally.
  • This further leads to various fertility problems, ectopic, tubal pregnancy, and other potentially life-threatening conditions in women who smoke.
  • Moreover, smoking during pregnancy is poisonous for the foetus and can be fatal for the baby.
  • The risk of miscarriages, placental abruption, placenta previa, and stillbirth also increases if the woman smokes during pregnancy.
  • Infant death syndrome is also prominent among infants exposed to tobacco smoke. Smoking also impacts oral health.

Smoking causes aging

It is not a myth that smoking ages you. A smoker is likely to develop wrinkles much earlier than non-smokers, but wrinkles are not the only worry for a woman who smokes. It is often noticed that smoking fastens the process of menopause by one or two years. Since nicotine hinders the ovaries' blood supply and estrogen is produced in the ovaries, cigarette smoking brings on menopause earlier.

Also Read: These 3 Things In Your Kitchen Can Help You Quit Smoking. Answers Dietitian

smoking causes aging

How can a woman quit smoking?

  • Quitting smoking is not an easy task, and it requires a lot of willpower. Research suggests that women tend to become addicted to cigarettes much faster than men and find it harder to quit.
  • This process can become relatively easier if women start paying attention to their menstrual cycle and mood swings.
  • By doing so, women can figure out the perfect time when they will crave nicotine the least and then quit during that period.

For those wondering whether the perfect time to quit will ever come, iIt is observed that the craving to smoke is at its peak during the start of the follicular phase as estrogen and progesterone levels are low. The follicular phase refers to the time that begins after menstruation. The ideal time to quit smoking is around two weeks before your period. Following this will help you quit cigarette smoking and choose a healthy lifestyle for yourself. 

Image credits- freepik