Hormone Health and Smoking 101

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We all know that smoking is damaging to our health. It damages nearly every organ in our body, and is one of the biggest causes of death or serious illness in the UK. But, did you know that smoking can also be detrimental to our hormones too?

The chemicals in cigarette smoke influence hormone production throughout our body and therefore, they can influence their function in our body.

Studies have shown that female smokers produce higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of oestrogen and progesterone. This hormone imbalance can impact everything from how we feel, to the function of our reproductive system, and our fertility. This reduced level of oestrogen can also impact how early we experience menopause!

In studies, smoking has been linked to:

  • Increasing severity of PMS symptoms
  • Decreasing the length of your cycle
  • A greater risk of not ovulating
  • Increased risk of cervical and rectal cancers

Smoking can also negatively affect our fertility, with both reduced frequency of ovulation and increased IVF failure rates prevalent among smokers.

PMS and smoking

Our levels of oestrogen, progesterone and other hormones key to reproductive health influence the development of PMS. With these hormones out of balance, smokers are up to twice as likely to experience.

Libido and smoking

When we smoke, dangerous chemical compounds enter our bloodstream that impact our sexual wellbeing by constricting bloodflow to our genitals.

This constriction in bloodflow can:

  • Negatively impact libido
  • Reduce vaginal lubrication
  • Delay orgasms during intercourse

Don’t forget that if you are using certain contraceptives, there are further health complications that can arise.

Stress and smoking

Those who smoke have higher levels of cortisol, which is our stress hormone. Stress can impact our regular menstrual cycle. Read more about that here.

Further reading

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