Daughters Fertility Rests On Mothers Smoking During Pregnancy – Science Times

Posted: September 26, 2019 at 10:41 am

This post was added by Alex Diaz-Granados

Lysette Maurice N. SandovalSep 21, 2019 12:15 PM EDT

Pregnant women are strongly advised by their attending doctors to quit smoking, or at least not smoke until they carry the baby to term. Smoking is in itself a practice that comes with a number of unwanted effects on the body. Its effects are much worse for pregnant women. Baby girls who are born to mothers who had trouble quitting smoking while pregnant show early signs of increased levels of testosterone. Such exposure may affect their reproductive function in the future.

In a paper presented during the 58th Annual European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology meeting., the study suggests how cigarette becomes an endocrine disruptor that can turn the girls in the womb more masculinize in nature. This means that the daughters of women who smoke during pregnancy are likely to suffer from hormonal imbalance, which in turn could lead to a long-term problem on reproductive health.

Though they have knowledge of the negative effects of smoking on both the woman and her child, some women still persist, while others simply become victims to second hand smoking. In addition to all the toxins that are present in every cigarette smoke, scientists also suspect that it may come with properties that disrupt the body from producing endocrines, which then exposes the female fetus to higher levels of testosterone -- the primary male sex hormone.

Anogenital distance (AGD) is the midpoint distance between the anus and the genitalia. It is the part of the body that is regulated by the testosterone levels during the development of the fetus, which makes it a lifelong indicator of the testosterone levels in the body. Such imbalance, even at a young age, can be remarkably strong.

The study included the measurement of the AGD of 64 newborn boys and 56 newborn girls. All of their mothers were smokers while they were pregnant. The AGD of girls whose mothers smoke was significantly longer. However, smoking did not affect the AGD of the boys.

"The significant increase in the AGD of girls due to maternal smoking may be a clear indicator of increased levels of testosterone. Further investigation still needs to be done in order to find a clear relationship between increased AGD, maternal smoking and the long term reproductive issues on girls," Dr. Kizilay said.

The team is now looking into taking their observations to a higher level by monitoring the long-term effects of such toxic testosterone exposure of the baby girls they have tested and to assess how such exposure affects their long-term reproductive health.

"These findings prove to be valuable in achieving a better understanding of the integrated effects of smoking on pregnant women and their unborn female babies," Dr. Kizilay commented.

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Daughters Fertility Rests On Mothers Smoking During Pregnancy - Science Times

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