Around 6.9 million adults in the UK smoke. In recent years, there has been a boom in people smoking e-cigarettes in a bid to lessen the harmful effects of the habit without quitting entirely, however e-cigarettes also contain nicotine. Since covid however, the number of people who have given up smoking in an attempt to improve their health reached 1 million. The effects of smoking are well-documented in every area of life: our relationship with exercise, our weight, and the impacts smoking has on future children. The egg donation process is no exception.
We ask for egg donors to have a non-smoker status for the duration of the egg donation process at Altui. Our egg donor recipients have been trying for years to have a baby: it means everything to them. We are wholly committed to giving them the best chance of successful fertilisation and honouring their wish to have a healthy baby.
Put simply, smoking decreases the chances of successful fertilisation. Nicotine accumulates in the follicular fluid that bathes the egg and to protect the egg against the toxins that have been released, a protective barrier forms; the egg wall therefore thickens and makes it more difficult for successful fertilisation to take place.
Egg donation is an amazing thing to do and it is life-changing for both the donor and the recipient. All parties need to be serious about fulfilling their objectives within the egg donation process, as any time lost in the process is time you cannot get back.
What if you’ve been a smoker previously?
We require egg donors to have quit smoking for at least 3 months before they begin the egg donation process. Even more crucial is for them to be serious about stopping smoking, without any relapses into the habit during their time with our clinic – this is because it takes a further 3 months for egg collection to be viable and we want the journey to be the valuable time investment it was designed to be.
It is well documented that if a mother smokes during pregnancy, the chances of the baby developing birth defects raises significantly. It is also more difficult for fertilisation to occur in the first place, and since our mission is to help people who so desperately want a baby, we urge all kind-hearted future egg donors to quit smoking so they can be the good in the world they wish to see.