The Harvard Medical School, meanwhile, reported the earlier onset of menopause among female smokers.
Studies have also found that among female smokes the rate of bone loss is faster with higher fracture rates. This is caused by lower estrogen levels and chemicals found in tobacco and smoke, which prevent the proper absorption of needed nutrients by the bone.
Risks of smoking for women’s reproductive health and Pregnancy
Female cigarette smokers or those who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke face a host of reproductive health challenges. The WHO noted that women smokers are more at risk for primary and secondary infertility and delays in conception.
Those who become pregnant have a higher risk of pregnancy-related complications such as premature rupture of membranes, placenta previa (partial or total obstruction by the placenta of the cervical os), preterm delivery, miscarriage, and preeclampsia.
Female smokers also give birth to smaller and lighter infants, and experience higher rates of stillbirth, congenital malformation, and perinatal mortality.
Other health risks of smoking for women
The WHO added that smoking increases the risk of women developing non-life threatening conditions that may still impact their quality of life such as periodontal disease, gallbladder disease, peptic ulcer, some forms of cataract, and facial wrinkling.
There is also a strong association between smoking and depression among women, which needs to be further studied.
Whether you’ve been a long-time smoker or not, giving up the habit has immediate health benefits. For instance, the risk of coronary heart disease is cut by up to 50% within one to two years.
Risks of stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and lung cancer have also been observed to decrease among people who give up this habit, the WHO reported.
After understanding the risks of smoking for women, those interested in kicking the habit may seek counselling or medical intervention.
To stay committed, you can do the following:
- listing down the reasons for quitting
- setting a stop date
- being disciplined in avoiding cigarettes
- being mindful of certain food and drinks that trigger cravings,
- seeking support from loved ones
- using alternative sources of nicotine such as patches and gums
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