We’ve all heard the disease risks that smoking poses to anyone who indulges. Women, however, face additional risks as if heart attacks, strokes, and lung cancer are not reason enough to toss away the cigarettes. More than 140,000 women die each year in the US from smoking related causes.
The highest rate of smoking among women is in 25-44 year olds, prime years for conceiving and raising children. These are also prime years for using oral contraceptives. Studies show an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and blood clots in women who use oral contraceptives and smoke. Fortunately, smoking rates in pregnant women have dropped, lessening the risk of babies born prematurely or with low birth weight. Smoking in pregnancy can also lead to miscarriage and has been blamed for infertility; women who smoke often take more than a year to conceive.
Further connections have been found between cigarette smoking and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, early menopause, osteoporosis, and even cervical cancer. Ladies, there are NO good reasons to start or continue smoking. There are many programs and ways to assist you as you quit smoking. Dr. Amy Siegel is a gynecologist who can help you get started.