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Is it bad to smoke shisha while trying to get pregnant?

Mar 2013
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Answered by
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 5956 Questions
My question is about smoking while trying to conceive. I quit smoking like 10 years ago and I was never a heavy smoker, only socially. I have recently been overseas to Egypt and tried smoking sheesha or hookah which is like flavoured tabacco without any tar or whatever else they put in cigarettes. So now I'm kinda hooked on smoking sheesha but my husband and I are trying to conceive. What problems can smoking cause while you're just trying to conceive? Can it make it harder to conceive? Can smoking cause miscarriages?
Thank you for your help
Posted Fri, 22 Feb 2013 in Getting Pregnant
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 2 hours later
Thanks for writing in.

A 2005 WHO report states that smoking using a waterpipe ( sheesha / hookah ) poses a serious potential health hazard and is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking. The average hookah session typically lasts more than 40 minutes, and consists of 50 to 200 inhalations that each range from 0.15 to 0.50 liters of smoke. In an hour-long smoking session of hookah, users consume about 100 to 200 times the volume of smoke of a cigarette.

Hookah smokers are at risk for the same kinds of diseases as are caused by cigarette smoking, including oral cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, cancer of the esophagus, reduced lung function, and decreased fertility.

Water pipe smoking delivers the addictive drug nicotine and is at least as toxic as cigarette smoke.The charcoal used to heat tobacco in the hookah increases the health risks by producing high levels of carbon monoxide, metals, and cancer-causing chemicals.

Even after it has passed through water, the smoke produced by a hookah contains high levels of toxic compounds, including carbon monoxide, heavy metals, and cancer-causing chemicals.

Smoking causes damage to the ovaries, resulting in loss of the capacity to produce mature and healthy quality of eggs ( oocytes ). The similar effect on sperm production is seen in the male partner also.

Even if you conceive, smoking is implicated in lower birth weights among the children born alive, increased risk of miscarriages, preterm birth, stillbirth, and deformities like a cleft lip or palate.

I would hereby recommend the following links for you to go through and further understand the problems caused by smoking . These are not mere patient discussion forums but scientific literature and studies :


Hence, for better overall health and increased chances of conceiving and delivering and raising a healthy child, I encourage you to quit any form of smoking.

Take care and feel free to ask for further clarifications.
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