Effect of Smoking on Female Health.

Today smoking has become increasingly popular among women. They are competing with men even in the arena of smoking. For today's women smoking is a great status symbol. They don't care about the ill- effects of smoking. Women begin smoking to appear cool but soon it becomes their habit. One of the most common reasons found in young women for smoking is to keep away from the hunger pangs. In order to keep themselves slim and trim the young ladies go on diet.

When the hunger pangs strike, they smoke to control them. In this process they become addicted to smoking. It has been found that smoking is more harmful to women than men. Tobacco smoke from cigarettes, cigars and pipes contains many chemicals which are injurious to the health. Tobacco causes about 1 in 3 deaths due to cancer. Smoking causes various life threatening cancers. It not only causes lung cancer but also increases the risk for cancers of mouth, kidney, pancreas, stomach and bladder. Oral contraceptives and smoking: The risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases in women is increased by approximately tenfold if they both smoke and use oral contraceptives.

Women smokers who use oral contraceptives risk serious consequences including increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes. This risk increases with age and women over 35 who smoke should not use oral contraceptives. This effect is more marked in women over 45. Historically, a mild elevation in blood pressure often occurred in pill users. However, blood pressure often returned to normal prepill  levels once oral contraceptives were discontinued. New studies indicate that high blood pressure is not a common problem for todays Pill users, nonetheless all women using oral contraceptives should have their blood pressure checked every six to twelve months.

Pregnancy, infant health and smoking: Smoking increases the chances of sudden infant death syndrome, infant and perinatal deaths, learning disorders, attention deficit disorder and disruptive behavior. Chemicals in tobacco are passed from pregnant mothers through the blood stream to the fetus. These toxic chemicals present serious risks to the unborn child, as well as the mother. Smoking during pregnancy is associated with preterm delivery, low birthweight, premature rupture of membranes, placenta previa, miscarriage, and neonatal death. New borns whose mothers smoked during pregnancy have the same nicotine levels in their bloodstream's as adults who smoke, and they go through withdrawal during their first days of life. Babies born to women who smoke are on average 200 grams (8 ozs) lighter than babies born to comparable non-smoking mothers. Low birth weight is associated with higher risks of death and diseases in infancy and early childhood.

The more cigarettes a woman smokes during pregnancy, the greater the probable reduction in birth weight. Recent research suggests that cigarettes can reduce the flow of blood in the placenta which limits the amount of nutrients that reach the foetus. Children born to mothers who smoke experience more colds, ear aches, respiratory problems, and illnesses requiring visits to the pediatrician than children born to nonsmokers. Infertility and smoking: Women who smoke may have reduced fertility. Studies found that 38% of non-smokers conceived in their first cycle compared with 28% of smokers. And Smokers were 3.4 times more likely than non-smokers to have taken more than one year to conceive. It was estimated that the fertility of smoking women was 72% that of non-smokers. Cigarette smoking can also affect male-fertility; spermatozoa from smokers are found to be decreased in density and motility compared with that of non-smokers.

A new study found that sperm cells carrying Y-chromosome are more vulnerable to the toxins in cigarette smoke. Menstruation, menopause and smoking: Smokers experience a greater prevalence of secondary amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), and irregularity of periods. Smokers are also more likely to experience unusual vaginal discharge or bleeding. Smoking causes women to reach natural menopause one to two years earlier than non-smokers or ex-smokers. Menstrual abnormalities and early menopause may be caused by a toxic effect on the ovaries or by the significantly lower levels of estrogens noted in many studies of women smokers. Smoking causes women to reach natural menopause one to two years earlier than non-smokers or ex-smokers.

This may be due to a toxic effect on ovaries caused by smoke exposure, or to the significantly lower levels of oestrogens in smokers noted in many studies. The natural menopause occurs up to two years earlier in smokers. The likelihood is related to the number of cigarettes smoked, with those smoking more than ten cigarettes a day having an increased risk of an early menopause. Beginning to smoke as a teenager increases a woman's risk of early menopause three times.

Smokers often notice symptoms of menopause two to three years earlier than nonsmokers. Hormones and smoking: Smoking causes women to enter menopause sooner and interrupts the menstrual cycle. Estrogen replacement therapy provides beneficial protection, to post menopausal women against the risk of osteoporosis. But these benefits are many times negated by the increased cardiovascular and other health risks associated with smoking while taking hormones.

Women who smoke face a serious increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke when using estrogens. This risk should be discussed with your physician before beginning hormone replacement therapy, if you are a smoker. Your doctor will assist you if you choose to quit smoking. Osteoporosis and smoking: Cigarette smoking contributes to osteoporosis, an increase in bone fragility that accompanies aging. Smoking reduces bone density, possibly through its effects on oestrogens. The study estimates that women who smoke 20 cigarettes a day through adulthood will have reduced their bone density by around 5 to 10% by the time they reach menopause, compared to non-smokers. This deficit in bone density is enough to increase the risk of fracture.

Women who smoke, one pack of cigarettes a day, often experience a loss of bone density equaling five to ten percent more than nonsmokers by the time they reach menopause. Cancers: Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer among women surpassing breast cancer. Some 68,000 U.S. women die each year from the disease and lung cancer mortality rates among US women have increased about 600 percent since 1950. Once rare among women, lung cancer has surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of female cancer death in the United States. It now accounts for 25 percent of all cancer deaths among women. Cardiovascular disease: Smoking greatly increases women's risk of heart disease and stroke. According to the American Heart Association, the risk for heart disease among middle-aged women who smoke is triple that of middle-aged non-smoking women. Appearance and oral-related conditions:

Tobacco increases the risk for periodontal disease and oral cancers and also leads to chronic bad breath, teeth staining, increased tartar deposits, tooth loss and exaggerated wrinkling in the face. Cancers of the uterine cervix and vulvar: Women who smoke cigarettes have a greater risk of developing cancers of the cervix and vulvar. For cervical cancer the relationship appears to be dose-responsive, with one study finding an 80% increased risk of developing the cancer among heavy smokers. It is estimated that 19% of cervical cancer and 40% of vulvar cancer is caused by smoking.

Source:  asianetindia.com




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