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Air pollution affects the menstrual cycle


Can Air Pollution Affect Women's Fertility?

Researchers have now found that the effects of increasing global air pollution negatively affect the menstrual cycle of women. Exposure to air pollution can increase the likelihood that people will develop menstrual disorders.

Scientists at Boston University in Massachusetts found that air pollution appears to have a negative impact on the menstrual cycle. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Human Reproduction".

Teenagers are particularly at risk from air pollution

In the future, the parents of teenage girls should ask their daughters to wear an anti-smog mask before they leave home. The results of the study show that exposure to increasing air pollution in girls ages 14 to 18 increases the likelihood that they will experience menstrual disorders. This is due to extremely small particles, which have the potential to cause an irregular menstrual cycle, the researchers explain.

Does Air Pollution Favor Infertility?

In addition to the previously identified effects of air pollution on health, according to the experts, this also affects the metabolic syndrome (collective name for various diseases and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases) and the so-called polycystic ovarian syndrome. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is one of the most common hormonal disorders in women. It is considered one of the most important reasons for the unfulfilled desire to have children in women.

The reproductive endocrine system also appears to be affected by air pollution

Although exposure to air pollution has been mostly associated with cardiovascular and lung diseases, the study results suggest that other systems, such as the reproductive endocrine system, are also affected, explains study author Shruthi Mahalingaiah from Boston University.

Particulate matter transmitted by air pollution has hormonal activity

Doctors stress that exposure to air pollution in girls as young as teenagers is associated with an increased likelihood of menstrual disorders. It also takes a longer time to compensate for these irregularities in later adulthood. The menstrual cycle responds to the regulation of hormones. The particulate matter transmitted through air pollution has hormonal activity, the experts explain.

Where did the data used in the study come from?

The researchers used the health and location data from the "Nurses Health Study 2" for their study. In addition, measurements of exposure to air pollution from the EPA air quality monitoring system were also included, the experts explain. Using this data, the scientists tried to better understand the exposure of the participants during a certain time window.

Reducing emissions could prevent many negative effects

For example, the experts at Boston University found that exposure to air pollution during school time correlated with irregularities in the menstrual cycle. Mahalingaiah emphasizes that many of the effects of air pollution on various human diseases can be reduced by reducing emissions at a global and individual level. (as)

Author and source information


Video: Neurodevelopmental Effects of Air Pollution - Dr. Frederica Perera (August 2020).