A new research study shows a possible link between e-cigarette use and infertility. Dr. Mark Trolice of Fertility CARE: The IVF Center – and member of the FertilityAnswers App’s team of experts – describes the findings as further evidence that prospective mothers should avoid smoking in any form.
A study recently published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society[i] suggests that women who use e-cigarettes may face difficulties in becoming pregnant, and that exposure to vaping could cause permanent health complications for the fetus.1 Dr. Mark Trolice, Director of Fertility CARE: The IVF Center, notes that smoking regular cigarettes is already contraindicated for women seeking to become pregnant, and that vaping should be as well. “E-cigarettes are probably just as harmful to pregnancy and fertility as traditional cigarettes because they both have similar amounts of nicotine,” Dr. Trolice said. “There is a misconception that e-cigarettes are safe to use during pregnancy. Anyone on their fertility journey should avoid the use of nicotine altogether.”
In the new study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, mice were exposed to smoke from electronic cigarettes five times a week. This smoke exposure equaled the amount of smoke inhalation received by people who smoke e-cigarettes regularly. After four months of testing, researchers found that the exposed mice experienced what were described as significant delays in pregnancy and implantation.2
Implantation, notes Dr. Trolice, is the first stage of pregnancy when the embryo adheres to the wall of the uterus and begins receiving oxygen and nutrients from the mother. The director of the new study indicated that while more research is needed, it seems likely that e-cigarette exposure in utero can cause lifelong changes to the fetal DNA and to fetal immune cardiovascular and nervous systems in mice.3
These findings, says Dr. Trolice, come on the heels of a series of recent announcements of a mysterious and potentially fatal respiratory illness tied to vaping. As of mid-October, U.S. health officials had confirmed 33 deaths and 1,479 confirmed and probable cases so far. Kroger Company, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and Walmart Inc. have said they would stop selling e-cigarettes in their stores, and the Chinese ecommerce firm Alibaba Group has announced that it will stop selling e-cigarette components in the United States.4
“The journey to fertility,” says Dr. Trolice, “can be stressful, particularly for those who experience difficulty in conceiving. It is recommended to engage in healthy stress reduction activities such as exercise, yoga, and meditation – vaping is not one of them.
“I strongly urge everyone—particularly those who might desire future childbearing—to stay away from vaping,” said Dr. Trolice. “It is a momentary fad that could ruin both your health, your opportunity to naturally conceive in the future and the health of your baby.”
About Fertility CARE: The IVF Center
Fertility CARE (Center of Assisted Reproduction and Endocrinology): The IVF Center provides patient-centered, evidence-based, and individual customized reproductive care in a comfortable and compassionate setting. Established in 2003 by Dr. Mark P. Trolice who is the founder, director as well as author of The Fertility Doctor’s Guide to Overcoming Infertility, This Central Florida IVF clinic consistently earns high patient ratings in online reviews is one of a select clinics in the country to offer both male and female testing, evaluation, treatment and psychological counselingi. Today, the practice encompasses the Center for Male Infertility, headed by a fellowship-trained male reproductive specialist; the Mind/Body Institute, overseen by a licensed clinical reproductive psychologist; and the IVF Laboratory of Central Florida, led by a Board-certified high complexity laboratory director. Fertility CARE – The IVF Center offers a comprehensive range of infertility tests and treatment options as well as genetic testing, egg freezing with fertility preservation, egg donation, embryo cryopreservation, gestational carrier and other services.
About Dr. Mark P. Trolice
Mark P. Trolice, M.D., is the founder and Director of Fertility CARE – The IVF Center. He also serves as Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando and Medical Director of the Egg Donor Program at Cryos International, the world’s largest sperm donor bank. Dr. Trolice is Board-certified in OB/GYN and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI), and he is a Fellow of the American Colleges of Obstetrics and Gynecology (FACOG), Surgeons (FACS), and Endocrinology (FACE). Renowned as Orlando’s most successful fertility specialist, Dr. Trolice and his wife battled infertility for over 10 years before adopting their children. This journey gave him unique insights into patients’ struggles and is included in his forthcoming book on infertility from Harvard Common Press. Dr. Trolice is a sought-after expert with dozens of broadcast and print appearances in addition to national acclaim as one of America’s Top Doctors® and repeat recipient of the American Medical Association’s “Physician’s Recognition Award”. In January 2019, he launched his “Fertility Health” podcast interviewing nationally renowned experts on vital topics in reproductive medicine.
- Wetendorf, et al. “E-Cigarette Exposure Delays Implantation and Causes Reduced Weight Gain in Female Offspring Exposed In Utero.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 5 Sept. 2019
- Fox, Eleanor Goulding, “The first evidence is emerging that vaping may negatively impact fertility,” Insider, September 13, 2019.
- Rosenfeld, Jordan, “Can vaping impair fertility?”, Medical Economics, October 7, 2019.
- Mulcahy, Lisa, “Need Another Reason To Stop Vaping? It May Keep You From Getting Pregnant,” Parade, September 12, 2019.
- Reuters, “Factbox: U.S. Vaping-Related Deaths Rise to 33,” New York Times, October 17, 2019.