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Maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy and reproductive health in children: a review of epidemiological studies.

Authors
  • 1
  • 1 Department of Public Health, Section for Epidemiology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark. , (Denmark)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Asian Journal of Andrology
1745-7262
Publisher
Medknow Publications
Publication Date
Volume
16
Issue
1
Pages
39–49
Identifiers
DOI: 10.4103/1008-682X.122351
PMID: 24369132
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Maternal cigarette smoking may affect the intrauterine hormonal environment during pregnancy and this early fetal exposure may have detrimental effects on the future trajectory of reproductive health. In this review, we discuss the epidemiological literature on the association between prenatal exposure to maternal cigarette smoking and several aspects of reproductive health. The literature points towards an increased risk of the urogenital malformation cryptorchidism, but a potential protective effect on the risk of hypospadias in sons following prenatal cigarette smoking exposure. Studies on sexual maturation find a tendency towards accelerated pubertal development in exposed boys and girls. In adult life, prenatally exposed men have impaired semen quality compared with unexposed individuals, but an influence on fecundability, that is, the biological ability to reproduce, is less evident. We found no evidence to support an association between prenatal cigarette smoking exposure and testicular cancer. Among adult daughters, research is sparse and inconsistent, but exposure to cigarette smoking in utero may decrease fecundability. In conclusion, prenatal exposure to cigarette smoking may cause some long-term adverse effects on the reproductive health.

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