Got fertility concerns? Change your night-shift job, says study!

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Not just that! Even physically demanding jobs are linked to poor fertility in women. Can the damage be undone? What needs to be done to fix it? Read on!

Heavy lifting and night shifts have been linked to poor fertility among women says a new study. According to the report, a physically demanding job or erratic work schedules may increase fertility issues in women trying to conceive.

According to Dr Kaushiki Dwivedee, Head of the Department - Obstetrics & Gynecology and Sr. Consultant - Reproductive medicine (IVF), Artemis Hospitals, India, “Physical exertion and late work hours are activities that increase stress. Stress, in turn, has a direct bearing on inversely decreasing the fertility. Also, various hormones which aid fertility, get disturbed because of altered sleeping pattern due to late working hours."

It is the first study of its kind to measure whether workplace factors affects a woman’s biological capacity to have a baby, according to this report. The researchers looked at indicators of “ovarian reserve” in 473 women attending one fertility clinic. The “reserve” refers to a woman’s number of remaining eggs and level of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). The FSH rises as a woman grows older and represents dwindling fertility.

Women with physically exerting jobs, who went in for IVF, had a low total reserve of eggs. Moreover, they had fewer mature eggs. A similar pattern was found in women who had late night shifts or rotating shifts.

But then, are these the only factors which affect fertility in a woman? According to Dr Dwivedee, "Age is the single most important factor. Subfertility is directly proportional to the age of the mother at conception. Apart from that, smoking, alcoholism, weight gain, cancer therapy, and certain childhood diseases can be responsible for fertility issues in women."

She suggests that couples can try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. To begin with, try maintaining an optimal body mass index, avoid smoking, alcohol, late nights, ensure 8-hours of proper sleep and eat a healthy, balanced diet. "If couples decide to delay conception due to any reason, they should consider getting the woman's eggs frozen for later use. Eggs frozen when the woman is 30, will remain 30, even if she opts to go for IVF at 40, thus increasing the success rate," adds the doctor. If you are considering using IVF to conceive a baby, here are certain things you must keep in mind:

  • Relax: That’s the most vital thing you can do if you intend to go for IVF. The fact that you are opting for IVF itself means that you are mighty stressed about conceiving. Ironically, stress s one of the prime reasons behind infertility. Do not stress yourself out, neither emotionally, nor physically.
  • Exercise, but in moderation: According to this report, strenuous exercise may lead to cycle cancellation. Long hours of exercise may also make it and twice as likely to have an implantation failure or pregnancy loss than women who did not report exercise. Instead of hitting the gym and indulging in cardio, opt for low-intensity exercise like yoga.

The best bet would be to consult a counsellor before you make up your mind about going for fertility treatments. As much as online research helps you prep, there is nothing like a good dose of advice from a qualified professional.

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[Images courtesy: Pixabay]

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