AAP February 15, 2012 10:09AM

BEING exposed to cigarette smoke as a baby or foetus could reduce a female’s fertility, new Australian research has found.

The three-year study examined the effect that three chemicals found in cigarettes had on ovarian development and egg fertilisation.
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It found females who were exposed to the toxins through cigarette smoke during the early stages of life could experience a reduction in the quality and number of their eggs, Professor Eileen McLaughlin from the University of Newcastle said.

“We believe that exposure to these toxins as a foetus dramatically reduces egg quality and quantity before birth and that this reduced fertility may be passed on to the next generation,” Prof McLaughlin said in a statement.

“It means that if your grandmother smoked – either while pregnant with your mother or near her when she was a baby – you and possibly your children may be at risk of reduced fertility.”

According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, more than one-third of pregnant Australian women under the age of 25 continue to smoke during pregnancy and premature ovarian failure continues to be a major cause of female infertility before the age of 40….Continue Reading

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