Essay Example on Cigarette Smoking and How It Disrupts FSH

Published: 2023-01-05
Essay Example on Cigarette Smoking and How It Disrupts FSH
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Medicine Public health Social issue
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 950 words
8 min read


Cigarette smoking is not only a significant health issue in the United States of America but also the rest of the world. Therefore, it dramatically burdens the economy of the world in totality. In America alone, over 60 million people smoke cigarettes. Besides, in the year 2008 alone, about 88 million non-smokers got exposed to second-hand smoke (Whitcomb et al., 2010). Adverse effects associated with tobacco smoke exposure include societal, economic burden, premature deaths, and burden to public health. Precisely, nicotine in tobacco has various effect in the human body including the endocrine system. However, very little regarding the effects of nicotine on the endocrine system especially the follicle stimulating hormone is known (Tweed et al., 2012). Therefore, the paper will strive to explain how cigarette smoking disrupts stimulating follicle hormone.

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Endocrine System

An endocrine system is a group of secretory glands and their secretions that play the role of maintenance of homeostasis. The endocrine system achieves this by producing secretions called hormones. The produced hormones are further regulated through regulatory axes such as hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA), hypothalamic pituitary thyroid axis (HPT), and hypothalamic pituitary gonadal axis (HPG). From the three axes, the two that participates in regulating reproductive hormones are the HPA, and HPG (Whitcomb et al., 2010).

Cigarette Smoking and Ovarian Reserve Testing

The smoke from a cigarette has reproductive toxicants, which are responsible for different types of reproductive outcomes in females. Examples of such results include premature menopause, infertility, subfecundity, and even menstrual-related disorders. Debates exist regarding the relationship between premature ovarian failure and cigarette smoking. It is not easy to determine the relationship without conducting a research study (Windham et al., 2005). Therefore, a research study can be undertaken to investigate the effect of cigarette smoking on measurable results of early follicular serum concentrations. Examples of such measurable initial follicular serum concentration include inhibin B hormone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and anti-Mu llerian hormone (AMH) (Tweed et al., 2012).

However, for a better result, the females involved in the study must be within the reproductive age. Such a test is referred to as ovarian reserve testing. Numerous types of ovarian tests have enabled health practitioners to determine fertility in females. Based on the same analysis, the effect of cigarette smoking on follicle stimulating hormone can easily be identified. It is because the ovarian reserve test relies on the level of ovarian hormones such as follicle stimulating hormones during the specified time of the woman's menstrual cycle (Windham et al., 2005).

After conducting similar research, it was found that cigarette smoke among the women increases the concentration of follicle stimulating hormone. It is imperative to note that the strength of the follicle stimulating hormone keeps on changing in the women body at different stages of the menstrual cycle. The level of the FSH is always highest mid-way the period when ovulation is about to take place. After ovulation, the concentration then lowers. It means that cigarette smoke interferes with the dynamism which in return compromises the integrity of ovary. Therefore, when a woman smokes the level of the follicle stimulating hormone keep on rising even when the time of ovulation has not arrived. Consequently, it can explain why smoking reduces fertility among females (Windham et al., 2005).

How Cigarette Smoking Increases the Level of FSH

It has been established that moderate smoking increases the level of follicle stimulating hormone by 30%. Moreover, the scale can even rise further with heavy smoking. It implies that there are chemical components in tobacco that increase the level of FSH by altering the function of the endocrine system. Follicle stimulating hormone is produced in the ovary through the stimulation of pituitary hormone from the pituitary gland. Moreover, in case of prolonged smoking over a long period, the normal function of the endocrine system becomes completely compromised leading to reproductive-related problems such as infertility, menstrual dysfunction, including earlier menopause (Whitcomb et al., 2010).

The Mechanism through Which Nicotine Increases the Level of FSH

When a woman is smoking slightly, HPA axis gets activated, which in return stimulates the hypothalamus to releases a hormone called corticotropin hormone (CRH). The released CRH then activate the anterior pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). The role of the ACTH is to stimulate the adrenal gland to release cortisol. The released cortisol then mediate several physiological effects such as metabolic homeostasis, cardiovascular system control, immune system modulation, effects of behavior and cognition, together with connective tissue effect (Tweed et al., 2012).

However, when a woman undergoes moderate to heavy smoking, HPG axis get stimulated instead of HPA. The stimulated HPG axis is as a result of the effect of gonadotropin hormone (GnRH), which is a secretion of the hypothalamus. The presence of large amounts of nicotine that results from heavy smoking leads to the production of a large quantity of GnRH. Large numbers of the GnRH in the blood circulation results into the release of FSH in large amounts. The large amounts of FSH have the following effects on the woman body. The first influence is the disruption of the normal menstrual cycle, earlier menopause, or even infertility (Tweed et al., 2012).


Tweed, J. O., Hsia, S. H., Lutfy, K., & Friedman, T. C. (2012). The endocrine effects of nicotine and cigarette smoke. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, 23(7), 334-342. doi:10.1016/j.tem.2012.03.006

Whitcomb, B. W., Bodach, S. D., Mumford, S. L., Perkins, N. J., Trevisan, M., Wactawski-Wende, J., ... Schisterman, E. F. (2010). Ovarian function and cigarette smoking. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 24(5), 433-440. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3016.2010.01131.x

Windham, G. C., Mitchell, P., Anderson, M., & Lasley, B. L. (2005). Cigarette Smoking and Effects on Hormone Function in Premenopausal Women. Environmental Health Perspectives, 113(10), 1285-1290. doi:10.1289/ehp.7899

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