Fertility Network UK

Smoking- giving up#help

hi All

So As hubby and I start this ivf journey, I have asked him to stop vaping as I am worried that the clinics (both nhs and private) will not allow us ivf if one smokes - is this true? It has been 2 days since he has stopped vaping but he is totally withdrawn from me, really down, wants to be on his own, stay in bed, and hardly talking to me. He says he needs time for a while as he goes through this difficult period and to bare with him. I am proud of him for doing this for us but please can anybody help suggest what I can do to help or what he can do to help with this process. He has his semen analysis next wk and I just want him to be ready for that smoke free etc. Has anybody else been in similar situations?

Thanks x

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I've never smoked so can't go from personal experience but have been around my sister and mum when they gave up and my only suggestion would be to give him LOTS of space as he will need to get his head around withdrawing both mentally and physically. He will no doubt be a very grumpy boy for the next few weeks, but it will only be like living with a hormonal woman lol 🤣! Best of luck to you both x x

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Hello!! I gave up smoking before I started IVF and it was hard, but one just has to "man up" as it were! My husband was a bloody nightmare giving up, all woe is me, but I actually found the more I read about how bad it is for your eggs the more determined I was! But in my experience with boys just leave him to be a miserable git, he'll get over it, but it is bloody awful addiction to have. Oh I also found eating a tictac every time I wanted a fag helped!! Good luck!! Xx

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Hi cryst41 - my husband vapes (he gave up smoking when we started ivf 2 and a years ago) and as I understand it vaping is fine? I.e. It's not 'smoking'? My hubby is lucky and has had great semen analysis results (all while vaping) and no issues detected with his semen at all (it's my eggs that are the prob). I think the NHS has actually endorsed vaping now in general as a safe way to stop smoking?

If I'm wrong and anyone has been told vaping for the man is forbidden during ivf please let me know??!! Xx

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The only thing I would say is the NHS semen analysis doesn't show up sperm fragmentation which can effect success, my husband always had excellent sperm 😂 but we are going to get the fragmentation test as our embryos seem to struggle after day 3 - sorry going off on a tangent there, I would just say nothing is always best, and I used to bloody love smoking!!! Xx

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Hi cryst41. Oh this is so difficult, as the poor man is dealing with withdrawing from an addiction when all said and done. I think as someone else has said, you need to give him some space and perhaps cook something good to eat? When I hear of how men struggle with this - and women, I just wish I could show them how sperm curl up when they come into contact with smoke, they really hate it, and it can affect the way they swim. All I can do is to wish him huge success with giving up vaping and fingers crossed it reflects in his forthcoming semen analysis. I shall be thinking of you. Diane

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Hi there, my husband gave up smoking when we were originally going for tests...he refused to give up before as he "didn't believe" it affected his sperm. After we found out it was his sperm that was the issue he (very) reluctantly gave up but went to vaping instead...which he still does. He was a proper hardcore smoker...20 a day and had smoked since he was 12. Smoking meant everything to him...and boy, did he grieve and throw all the tantrums under the sun for weeks and weeks when he gave up. I just had to remember why he was doing it....he often blamed me for "making him" give up!...anyway the good news is, his sperm quantity and quality massively improved (morphology went from unmeasurable to 14% in 3mths)...we're now 12wks pregnant through icsi. Not sure if the giving up smoking helped....but it certainly hasn't been a bad thing xxx

Ps: even 20mths later he still tells me how much he misses it at least once a week...especially when he smells someone smoking in he street or sees it on tv. He is however very proud of himself and I am too!

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Hey there, my husband was also vaping before ivf. He gave up about 5 months before we started treatment. He was smoking the zero nicotine ones, our consultant said he must give up completely though as they are not regulated and even the zero ones have sometimes as much nicotine as the normal ones. They did a nicotine (lung) check at our pre plan appointment which was a couple of weeks before I started on the meds. My husband had a sperm test in October last year and his sperm count was about 20 million, then did another in late March and it was 31 million and the only thing he'd changed was the vaping, so it must have some effect!! I think private clinics are less strict as I know my brother was vaping all the way through his wife's ivf cycle but we were told my husband must stop. He'll get over the moodiness, don't worry just leave him to it. It's good to talk after about it as it's easy for him to slip back into it, so important he knows the benefits of quitting just in case. Us women tend to research and try everything to improve ivf chances, and unfortunately the men do have to take some responsibility! And trust me, your sex life will improve dramatically!!! 😂

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