E-cigarettes, the new trend in smoking is driving increased use of tobacco products among youth. Many young and pregnant women these days are smoking e-cigarettes as a “safer” alternative to smoking. But, what they are not aware is the fact that it affects their fertility and ability to conceive.
As per a research study published in The Journal of the Endocrine Society, e-cigarettes can delay pregnancy in young women. Researcher Kathleen Caron, Ph.D., from the University of North Carolina says, “We found that e-cigarette usage prior to conception significantly delayed implantation of a fertilized embryo to the uterus, thus delaying and reducing fertility (in mice). We also discovered that e-cigarette usage throughout pregnancy changed the long-term health and metabolism of female offspring – imparting lifelong, second-generation effects on the growing fetus”.
Along with the delayed pregnancy in the young mice, the offspring in the uterus failed to gain much weight when exposed to the vapour of e-cigarette. Kathleen added saying “These findings are important because they change our views on the perceived safety of e-cigarettes as alternatives to traditional cigarettes before and during pregnancy”.
What other health issues are caused by these e-cigarettes?
E-cigarettes contain nicotine which leads to non-alcohol fatty liver disease. However, the long term effects of e-cigarettes on liver, pancreas and heart are not completely known.
In a 12 week study, the researchers (including Dr. Theodore C Friedman, MD, P.hD, Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine and Endowed Professor of Cardio-Metabolic Medicine at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science) studied mice missing the gene for apolipoprotein E, which makes them more prone to developing heart disease and fat in the liver. RNA Sequence analysis by the researchers found changes in 433 genes that were associated with fatty liver development and progression in the mice exposed to e-cigarettes. They also found that the cardiac rythms were changed in mice.