Effects of female and male smoking on success rates of IVF and gamete intra-Fallopian transfer

Hillary Klonoff-Cohen, Loki Natarajan, Richard Marrs, Bill Yee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Smoking by both male and female partners may play a significant role in the success rates of assisted reproductive technologies. The objective of this 5-year prospective study was to investigate the influence of cigarette smoking by the wife, husband, and couple at various time points (e.g. lifetime, week prior, or during the procedures) on different biological parameters of IVF and gamete intra-Fallopian transfer (GIFT). Methods and results: A total of 221 couples, aged >20 years, of Caucasian, Black, Asian or Hispanic descent were recruited from seven infertility clinics located in Southern California. Couples (i.e. either female or male or both) who ever smoked compared with non-smokers, had adjusted relative risks (RR) of 2.41 (95% CI 1.07-5.45, P = 0.03) of not achieving a pregnancy, and 3.76 (95% CI 1.40-10.03, P < 0.01) of not having a live birth delivery, while adjusting for potential confounders. For couples who smoked for >5 years, there was an adjusted RR = 4.27 of not achieving a pregnancy (95% CI 1.53-11.97, P = 0.01). The number of oocytes retrieved decreased by 40% for couples (smokers, n = 6) and by 46% for men who smoked during the week of the visit for IVF or GIFT. Women who smoked in their lifetime had adjusted risks of 2.71 of not achieving a pregnancy (95% CI 1.37-5.35, P < 0.01), and 2.51 (95% CI 1.11-5.67, P < 0.03) of not having a live birth delivery. Conclusions: There is compelling evidence that couples should be made aware that smoking years before undergoing IVF and GIFT can impact treatment outcome. This study may also provide insight into the timing and effects of male and female smoking on natural reproduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1382-1390
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Assisted reproductive technologies
  • IVF
  • Lifestyle habits
  • Success rates
  • Tobacco smoke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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