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Tobacco, Alcohol, & Drugs

Tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs are dangerous for both you and your unborn baby. These substances have bad effects on the fetus at a time when organs are forming, causing damage that can last for the lifetime of the baby.

  • Smoking or use of any nicotine products during pregnancy can slow your baby’s growth, cause miscarriage or premature labor, and increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause physical and mental birth defects. Visit for details.
  • Studies have shown that consumption of illegal drugs during pregnancy can result in miscarriage, low birth-weight, premature labor, placental abruption, fetal death and even maternal death.

If you are planning to get pregnant and you use any of these substances, now is the time to quit. Don’t be embarrassed to ask your health care team if you need help quitting.

Do You Smoke Cigarettes?

Virtually all studies support that smoking has an adverse impact on fertility. Active smoking by either partner has adverse effects. The negative impact of passive smoke exposure is only slightly smaller than for active smoking. The use of a nicotine inhaler, nicotine nasal spray, nicotine patch, nicotine lozenge and other tobacco substitutes has the same negative effects on fertility as active or passive smoking.

Female smoking decreases success rates with IVF. Male smoking decreases success rates with IVF Smokers have increased rates of miscarriage with IVF pregnancies. Smoking cessation may improve natural fertility and improve success rates with fertility treatment. Chelsea Fertility NYC’s policy is not to perform fertility treatments for patients and/or partners who smoke or use tobacco substitutes.

Do You Drink Alcohol?

Studies have shown that alcohol consumption by both the male and female partner diminishes the chances of success with fertility treatment. It is recommended that drinking be avoided at least one month before beginning any fertility treatment.

Do You Take Illegal Drugs?

The use of recreational drugs has been shown to have a negative impact on fertility and diminishes the chance of fertility treatment being successful.