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.
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.