Study Shows Smoking While Pregnant Can Affect Fertility In Baby Girls

A recent study has shown that girls whose mother smokes while pregnant may suffer from fertility issues.

Most people are very aware that smoking during pregnancy can cause harm to the unborn fetus. Smoking can cause babies to be born prematurely, have a smaller birth weight and even have an increased chance of delivering a stillborn. Ther have been many studies that have researched women smoking throughout their pregnancy. A new piece of research has actually shown that if women smoke during pregnancy they might cause long term effects on their daughters and they might struggle with infertility when they get older.

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Researchers have found that girls whose mother smoked while pregnant have an increased amount of testosterone exposure. Increased testosterone exposure is thought to affect their hormone and fertility function. The study, presented at the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology meeting in Vienna, Austria, suggests cigarettes are an endocrine disruptor - meaning they interfere with hormone systems. Scientists believe that due to this finding mothers are actually masculinizing girls while in the womb.

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Women who smoke during pregnancy are impacting their daughters hormonal and reproductive health. Mothers might not realize that by smoking during pregnancy they might make it harder for their daughters to have children when they get older. Dr. Deniz Ozalp Kizilay and colleagues at Cigli State Training Hospital in Turkey measured anogenital distance (AGD) - the distance from the midpoint of the anus to the genitalia - which is regulated by testosterone levels during fetal development. Researchers studied 56 newborn girls and 64 newborn boys from mothers who smoked during pregnancy.  AGD was significantly longer in the baby girls and correlated with the amount the mothers smoked. No effect was found on AGD in the boys.

Dr. Kizilay said that "this significant increase in AGD in girls exposed to maternal smoking may be an indicator of excessive testosterone exposure that poses a risk for short and long-term health problems, including metabolism and fertility." Scientists have found that girls who are exposed to more testosterone in the womb are at greater risk of abnormal development and long-term negative effects on their fertility and metabolism.  These findings that were found in this study is just another reason for women to stop smoking while pregnant.

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