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Every woman wants her menstrual cycle to be normal, healthy and tension-free? But on months when it is off track, it can really put her in a tizzy!
But our menstrual health is a little sensitive and even some small actions can make a difference. From leading an unhealthy diet, stress, too much exercising, certain health conditions to an unhealthy lifestyle — all of them can wreak havoc on your menstrual health.
Smoking, especially, is one habit that can take a toll on your menstrual health.
We aren’t kidding at all, ladies! All those women who smoke especially before and during the menstrual cycle may face irregularities in their menstrual cycle.
Smoking does tend to worsen PMS symptoms. “Women who smoke are more likely to experience increased levels of pre-menstrual syndrome signs like irritability, cramps, bloating, breast tenderness, backaches, and acne,” says Dr Asha Hiremath, Consultant Obstetrician, Gynaecologist and Laparoscopic Surgeon, Motherhood Hospitals, Indiranagar, Bengaluru.
Wonder what’s the cause behind this? Well, it is due to the nicotine and other harmful chemicals present in cigarettes, adds Dr Hiremath. Along with that, according to PubMed, the nicotine present in cigarettes can cause hormonal imbalance, which can lead to a negative impact on your reproductive and menstrual health.
Smoking has certain ill effects, especially on the reproductive health of women. Using cigarettes increases the risk of cervical and rectal cancer in women. It can also impact fertility. Women who smoke have a greater risk of not ovulating and will find it difficult to get pregnant.
If a woman smokes during pregnancy, she will be putting both herself and her baby at risk. “Harmful chemicals like nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar increase the risk of complications during pregnancy. Smoking worsens the risk of miscarriages, stillbirth, premature birth, slow fetal development, and birth defects. The nicotine in cigarettes can adversely interfere with the functioning of the fallopian tubes. This could hinder the egg from traveling smoothly to the uterus. The egg will get implanted outside the main cavity of the uterus, resulting in an ectopic pregnancy, which is potentially life-threatening,” says Dr Hiremath.
Smoking also tends to bring on early menopause. Not just this, women who smoke will experience unpleasant menopausal symptoms with increased intensity. Problems like hot flashes, night sweats, difficulty in sleeping will be worse in women who smoke than in women who don’t. And “early menopause has also been connected with serious health conditions like heart disease, osteoporosis, and strokes,” says Dr Hiremath.
Apart from effects on physical health, smoking can also affect women’s mental health as well and increase the risk of anxiety and depression. Enough reasons to stop, dear ladies, isn’t it?