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23-05-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

Conflicting evidence for effect of tobacco on IVF outcomes


Free abstract

MedWire News: Different forms of tobacco smoking may have varying effects on reproductive outcomes among women undergoing fertility treatment, show Lebanese research results.

“Nargile smoke has harmful components similar to those found in cigarette smoke,” explain Antoine Hannoun and colleagues, from the American University of Beirut Medical Center.

But while cigarette smoking significantly lowered clinical pregnancy rates compared with not smoking, smoking nargile (a water-pipe) had no deleterious effect on pregnancy rates.

The team studied overall, clinical, and chemical pregnancy, multiple pregnancy, and miscarriage rates in 204 non-smoking women, 51 nargile smokers, and 42 cigarette smokers undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

Nargile smokers were significantly younger than non-smokers, while cigarette smokers were nonsignificantly older than non-smokers.

Cigarette smokers had significantly lower clinical pregnancy rates than non-smokers, at 23.8 percent versus 43.6 percent, whereas there was no significant difference in clinical pregnancy rates between nargile smokers and non-smokers, at 51.0 percent versus 43.6 percent.

Nargile smoking did not affect any of the other study outcomes.

One possible reason for the difference in the effect of cigarette and nargile smoke may have been the significantly younger age of the nargile smokers, suggest the researchers.

However, despite not having a negative impact on ICSI outcomes, “there is ample reason for physicians to counsel their patients to stop smoking,” conclude Hannoun et al.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Sarah Guy