Whenever you go to the doctor, they ask you if you have a history of smoking, but vaping e-cigarettes aren’t really the same thing, right? Wrong. With various flavors, vaping doesn’t seem as harmful as typical tobacco products; however, this is not always the case. We’ve all seen the anti-vape and tobacco commercials warning about long-lasting respiratory issues as well as lung cancer. Both cigarettes and vapes have harmful chemicals that can impact your overall health, even your menstrual cycle.
What Chemicals Are In Vapes and Cigarettes?
You may have heard that harmful chemicals that negatively impact your health are found in e-cigarettes as well as tobacco products, but what actually are these substances? Vapes and cigarettes are more similar than you may think and can cause cancer.
Vapes have various additives such as:
- Flavorants such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease.
- Acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, both known carcinogens.
- Acrolein which can cause lung damage.
- Propylene and diethylene glycol, both linked to lung disease.
- Benzene, which is in car exhaust.
- Heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, or lead.
In cigarettes, it’s even worse. According to an article published by the NIH, there are more than 250 harmful substances in tobacco products, 69 of which directly cause cancer. Some of these chemicals include:
- Hydrogen cyanide
- Carbon monoxide
At first glance, you may notice that these chemicals either directly or indirectly cause respiratory conditions. However, it’s important to be aware that both vaping and tobacco usage can cause other health issues that will last a lifetime.
Health Effects of Vaping and Smoking
According to an article issued by WebMD, nicotine negatively affects connections your brain makes, as well as managing your mood, attention, memory, and impulse control. Additionally, nicotine often reduces blood flow and nutrition to your gums, which can lead to gum disease. When it comes to your heart, vapes and cigarettes can be especially harmful.
Recent studies published by Science Direct showed that people who regularly smoked vapes or cigarettes were 56% more likely to have a heart attack than non-users. And not to mention that both e-cigarette and tobacco use were linked to skin conditions, immune system failure, emphysema, tuberculosis, as well as bronchitis. If that wasn’t all, smoking and vaping are correlated with mental health issues such as attention deficit disorder (ADD) and depression, especially in women. Lastly, doctors are also finding out that smoking as well as vaping can negatively impact menstrual and reproductive health.
Smoking and Period Changes
According to a study published by Reuters, women who smoke or have a history of smoking experienced more painful, heavy periods than people who didn’t. Researchers from Australia stated that, “compared to nonsmokers, smokers in the study were more likely to suffer from severe menstrual pain and to experience a worsening of pain as the number of cigarettes they smoked per day increased.” Although researchers are still unsure why this correlation exists, they believe that the restriction of blood vessels and amount of oxygen to the uterus may be the answer.
Additionally, the study found that the women who began smoking tobacco products before the age of 15 were 50% more likely to experience chronic period pain and bleeding. In conclusion, the study showed that when researchers studied women who refrained from smoking against the ones who didn’t, former smokers were 33 percent and current smokers were 41 percent more likely to be living with moderate to severe menstrual discomfort.
Could Vaping or Smoking Cause Fertility Issues?
Even though researchers are still studying how vaping and smoking impact reproductive health, we know that some of the chemicals in these products can be detrimental to fertility. The nicotine content and flavorings within e-cigarettes can make it difficult to conceive. An article published in Modern Fertility stated that vaping and smoking can:
- Increase egg loss and impair the quality of eggs.
- Decrease the function of your ovaries.
- Speed up the menopause process.
- Diminishes the quality of sperm and its ability to move towards an egg.
- Escalate the likelihood of an ectopic pregnancy.
It’s important to think about the long-term health effects of smoking and vaping. As you can see, it’s not just about preventing lung cancer, but the numerous negative toll smoking can take on your overall health.
Other Reasons for Period Issues
If you’re someone who smokes e-cigarettes or tobacco products, it’s important to track any period changes or symptoms you may be experiencing. This will help you down the road if you need to inform your doctor about what may be a potential issue. If you’re experiencing painful periods, smoking and vaping are not the only reasons behind this common issue.
Uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, and endometriosis are all prevalent women’s health conditions that can cause heavy, prolonged, or painful periods. Because smoking and vaping can cause periods to be more painful than people who refrain, it’s important to inform your doctor. People with uterine fibroids and other uterine conditions should also avoid smoking that can make symptoms worse.
Fibroids or Adenomyosis Diagnosis
If you’re living with painful menstrual cramps or pelvic pain, you need to see a doctor immediately. A fibroid specialist can determine if smoking or something else is causing your period changes. An ultrasound can help doctors see if uterine fibroids or adenomyosis could be behind your chronic pain. They can help shed some light if quitting smoking could be an effective solution for your discomfort.
At the Fibroids Fighters Foundation, our friendly team members are here to help. We can answer any questions you may have about reproductive health and period changes. If your symptoms match those associated with uterine fibroids, we can help you find a treatment center. There, a fibroid specialist can conduct a proper diagnosis. You should never ignore period changes and pain. Give us a call at 855.455.5262 or contact us conveniently online.