Vol 73, No 1 (2022)
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Published online: 2021-11-04

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Differences in sex hormone levels in the menstrual cycle due to tobacco smoking — myth or reality?

Ewa Florek1, Wojciech Piekoszewski23, Agata Czarnywojtek4, Anna Sędziak1, Wojciech Jawień5, Anna Dera-Szymanowska6, Marta Szukalska1, Krzysztof Szymanowski6, Marek Chuchracki7, Marek Ruchała8
Pubmed: 34855194
Endokrynol Pol 2022;73(1):16-25.


Introduction: Tobacco smoke contains, among others, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), heterocyclic analogues, aromatic amines, N-nitrosamines, volatile hydrocarbons, aldehydes, phenols, miscellaneous organic compounds, metals, and inorganic compounds. Tobacco smoking can harm women’s reproductive system and may reduce fertility. The objective of the study was to explore the effect of tobacco smoke on the menstrual cycle due to smoking and second-hand smoke-exposure.

Material and methods: The study was performed on 153 women of reproductive age, who received care at the Gynaecological-Obstetric Clinical Hospital of the Poznan University of Medical Sciences. They were divided into three treatment groups: non-smokers, secondhand smokers, and smokers. Comprehensive assessment of all hormone levels: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), 17β-oestradiol (E2), and progesterone (P), in the various phases of the menstrual cycle and with concomitant determinations of serum cotinine concentrations was performed. The menstrual cycle was observed with ultrasonography.

Results: Cigarette smoking may be an important factor in disrupting reproduction: 1. The increase in the oestradiol E2 level was accompanied by significantly lowered serum cotinine concentrations in tobacco smokers; 2. In smoking patients, the serum level of LH significantly increased on the first days of the menstrual cycle; 3. The higher levels of P (in the 14th and 21st days) were assumed to be the result of a longer menstrual cycle.

Conclusions: Active and passive smoking may be an important contributor to reproductive health issues and deserves greater focus in health education programs directed towards women of reproductive age.

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