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Physiol Res. 2017 Sep 26;66(Supplementum 3):S323-S331.

The influence of smoking and cessation on the human reproductive hormonal balance.

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Third Medical Department - First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General Faculty Hospital in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic, Institute of Endocrinology, Prague, Czech Republic.


Smoking is the most widespread substance dependence in the world. Nicotine and some other components of the cigarette smoke cause various endocrine imbalances, and have negative effects on pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, testicular and ovarian functions. Here, we examined studies that describe the influence of smoking and smoking cessation on the male and female reproductive systems. We also focused on studies providing an account of differences in cessation success rates between men and women. In men, the most common effects associated with smoking are erectile dysfunction and decreasing spermiogram quality. Several groups have studied the effects of cigarette smoking on testosterone levels in men. However, the results have been conflicting. In women, nicotine has an anti-estrogen effect and increases the ratio of androgens to estrogens throughout life. Beside nicotine, other cigarette toxins also cause dysregulation of reproductive and hormonal system, and essentially influence the probability of a successful pregnancy not only in cases of assisted reproduction but also in healthy women. Tobacco addiction is one of the forms of addiction that are generally thought to be different for men and for women. Women are less successful than men in quitting smoking, and nicotine replacement therapy is less effective in female smokers. We also summarize recent studies that have indicated possible reasons.

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