Pregnant women who smoke have a high risk of compromising the fertility of the unborn child causing male features. This results from the high testosterone level produced by such females.
Smoking during pregnancy is dangerous for both the mother and the baby as evidence shows that it is linked to premature delivery.
Female newborns not exposed to prenatal smoke including male newborns did not develop this condition.
Dr. Kizilay conducted a study of about 120 children at Cigli State Training Hospital and found that the anogenital distance (the distance between the midpoints of the anus and genitalia) for females whose mothers were exposed to cigarette smoke were larger than normal. The anogenital distance is a medical measurement of the level of testosterone in females; therefore, these children affected by maternal smoking had high levels of testosterone in them which makes them masculinized females.
Dr. Kizilay said: ‘AGD is an important biomarker of foetal androgen exposure and intrauterine masculinization. ‘This significant increase in AGD in girls exposed to maternal smoking may be an indicator of excessive testosterone exposure that poses a risk for short and long-term health problems, including metabolism and fertility.’To our knowledge this is the first time that the unfavorable effects of prenatal smoke exposure on AGD, as a marker of testosterone exposure, has been demonstrated in female newborns.’ ‘Our results do suggest that girls have higher testosterone exposure but not how this relates to reproductive function.’