Groping in the Dark

Ruthie Patriquin
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A good time to talk about smoking and sexual health

Q. My daughter smokes. Can this affect her sexual health?

A. Yes, smoking can affect sexual health and overall health. Here are some of the facts to consider.

Smoking :

- may increase menstrual irregularity and pain (one per week could result in menstrual symptoms such as pain, irritability, headaches, cramps)

- increases risk of cervical cancer (about 30 per cent of cervical cancers have been attributed to smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke)

- may increase risk of breast cancer (active smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke)

- may increase the risk of infertility (difficulty getting pregnant)

- increases risk of tubal pregnancy and miscarriage as well as other health concerns during pregnancy

- can affect the healthy development of the unborn child

- increases risk associated with taking combined hormone methods of contraception such as the pill, patch, and ring.

- reduces blood flow efficiency and affects physical sexual arousal (both women and men) therefore interfering with sexual enjoyment.

- causes early menopause

April is cancer month. It's a good time to talk about smoking and health.

You can contact the Sexual Health Centre for Cumberland County at 667-7500, email:, or visit the office at 11 Elmwood Dr. (side entrance), Amherst (Monday-Thursday by chance or by appointment). Questions for this column may be sent to the email address or mailed to P.O. Box 661, Amherst, NS B4H 4B8.

Organizations: Sexual Health Centre

Geographic location: Cumberland County, Elmwood

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