The cigarette is a real enemy for us. Not only because of the smell of clothes or the color it leaves on your teeth, there are much more serious consequences such as the advancement of menopause and cancer, not to mention the bad smell that your vagina can emit.
The World Health Organization tells us that the tobacco epidemic is one of the greatest public health threats the world has ever faced. It kills more than 8 million people a year, of which more than 7 million are direct consumers and around 1.2 million are non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke.
But in the specific case of women , the annual risk of death for women more than doubles among regular smokers, compared to those who have never smoked in the age groups between 45 and 74 years.
Here at Zenzsual we constantly promote conversations about women's health , well-being, quality of life and healthy sexuality, for this reason with this article we want you to think about all the negative effects that smoking has on your health. Because when we say that women should empower ourselves and take charge of our lives, it is about making wise and responsible decisions that change the course of our existence towards a favorable path; thinking about a healthy aging that implies living a dignified, productive and happy old age.
There are plenty of reasons to quit smoking!
Nicotine is a powerful stimulant , considered to be a more addictive substance than other illegal drugs. Within a few seconds of inhaling a puff of smoke, you receive a powerful dose of this component in the brain. This increases the amount of adrenaline in the blood, which is responsible for accelerating your heart rate and raising your blood pressure.
Smoking for women not only means that they are susceptible to the same diseases as men (cardiovascular, pulmonary and cancer), but also, as if that were not enough, we are affected by other pathologies just for being a woman, such as cancer. of the cervix and other consequences that impair our ability to be mothers, with changes in pregnancy and the future baby.
How does tobacco affect women's health?
Friend, you already know that smoking is not a game thing!
Here we go with the main reasons, review this list of negative consequences and alterations that frequently appear in female smokers, for which we recommend you definitely stay away from cigarettes:
We speak of Precocious Menopause when it appears before the age of 40, due to a decrease in the activity of the ovaries . This situation can be caused by ovarian surgery, genetic causes or as a consequence of having undergone chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment. It has also been shown that this alteration in your estrogen production may be associated with tobacco use.
Why can tobacco be linked to the advancement of menopause?
What happens is that tobacco causes changes in female hormones, especially estrogen. This can produce an advance of menopause of 2-3 years, compared to non-smoking women. Among the explanations that are heard among doctors there are two known theories in this regard:
- One theory that explains this early menopause is caused by chemical compounds derived from cigarette smoke, which could cause hormonal changes that would lead to this advance.
- While another theory suggests that tobacco causes alterations in estrogen levels , decreasing the availability of hormones and preventing them from performing their usual functions.
You must consider that it is common for an imbalance in the formation of women's bones to occur during menopause , causing the loss and demineralization of bone mass, better known as Osteoporosis.
But if at that age you are still an active smoker, the situation for your bones is complicated, because nicotine accelerates the elimination of estrogens through the urine, which increases the possibility of calcium elimination and the affectation of the bone cells responsible for the production of estrogens. formation of new bone (called osteoblasts), bringing as a consequence that you continue smoking:
- weakening your bones
- Doubling the chances of suffering fractures
- Hindering the formation or regeneration of your bone mass
And if you don't stop this terrible habit, during post-menopause you will continue to increase your risk of presenting a hip fracture, because you will have a lower bone density, compared to any other non-smoking woman.
- Nicotine reduces the level of vitamin A and changes the quantity/quality of collagen.
- Accelerates the loss of elasticity of your skin.
- It accelerates the arrival of wrinkles prematurely; due to collagen degradation.
- It is responsible for the yellow color in your teeth, hands and nails.
INTERFERES IN HEALING
- Causing alterations in healing, since tobacco smoke decreases tissue oxygenation.
Cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of diseases that affect the blood vessels of the heart (coronary heart disease), brain (cerebrovascular disease), and extremities (peripheral vascular disease). This situation is aggravated if the woman uses oral contraceptives and is over 35 years of age.
Tobacco is the main causative factor of non-tumoral respiratory diseases.
And as if that were not enough, tobacco is the most frequent cause of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a term that encompasses chronic bronchitis and pulmonary emphysema. Some studies suggest that women smokers are at greater risk of these diseases than men.
Adding more diseases to the list, the risk of contracting lung cancer increases with the amount, duration and intensity of smoking. That is, the risk of death from lung cancer is 20 times more frequent among women who smoke two or more packs a day. Lung cancer is growing at an alarming rate in women; since mortality from this tumor increases by 2% every year.
There are multiple types of cancer related to tobacco use in women: such as cancer of the pancreas , larynx, esophagus and bladder. In addition to these, we must pay attention to cervical cancer, which is 2 to 3 times more frequent among women who smoke than among non-smokers, and breast cancer, which for years has been shown to be linked to an increased risk of developing it.
A large 2013 study , which was published online by the Bulletin of the National Cancer Institute , found that smoking increases the risk of developing breast cancer in women, especially women who started smoking before have their first child. And during more than 13 years of follow-up in this study, the rate of breast cancer was 24% higher in women who were current smokers compared to women who never smoked. And this rate was 13% higher in women who were ex-smokers, compared to women who never smoked.
ALTERATIONS IN REPRODUCTIVE FUNCTION
Tobacco use in women is associated with increased infertility and an increased risk of pregnancy outside the uterus (ectopic). In fact, women who smoke are three times more likely than non-smokers to take more than a year to get pregnant.
During pregnancy and as a consequence of the vasoconstriction or decrease in the caliber or width of the blood vessels of the mother and the future baby, produced by nicotine and the reduction of oxygen in the blood, the risk of the following alterations appears :
- Reduction in the expected weight of the newborn.
- Delayed intrauterine growth of the fetus.
- Syndrome of sudden infant death.
- Increased risk of premature births and miscarriages.
- Alterations of the placenta, which increase the complications of pregnancy and childbirth.
If you continue to smoke, the nicotine will pass to the baby through breast milk.
- Menstrual disorders, such as irregular periods, premenstrual tension and dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation).
TEAM ZENZSUAL TIPS
We have already given you enough reasons to quit smoking, but if that were not enough, perhaps knowing what could be the cause of the bad smell that your vagina gives off could be your greatest motivation to make the final decision to quit smoking, don't you think?
If you still consider that you cannot get rid of this vice, go to a specialist to help you in this process.
From now on you can start eating a diet rich in calcium , do more physical activity and if you have any questions, consult your doctor. At Zenzsual we have a set of tools, products and advice , ready to accompany you in this process of aging healthy and with full sexuality.