Nightshifts and Lifting Heavy Loads Could Harm a Woman’s Fertility

A team of researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has published a report in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggesting that women who are obese, overweight or above the age of 37 could harm their chances of getting pregnant if they lift heavy loads or work nightshifts.

This new study analyzed the efforts and physiology of over 470 women who were trying to conceive, and then crossed these with four biomarkers produced in their bodies to determine that carrying heavy loads and working unholy hours impacts negatively on overweight or obese women's abilities to get pregnant.

This is not the first time related studies have been carried out, but this finding is the first to analyze direct biomarkers that determine the ability to conceive in women.

The four biomarkers for fertility examined

In the course of the research, the researchers examined four biomarkers which include estrogen levels in the body, number of matured eggs that could make babies, the level of the hormone that controlled the ability to get pregnant, and the number of immature eggs that could never develop into healthy embryos.

The researchers found out that the more women above the age of 37 or those who are overweight engaged in carrying or moving heavy objects and working nightshifts, the lesser their abilities to have mature eggs for conception and the lesser the levels of hormone regulating their reproduction processes. To this extent, these women were found to have 8.8% lesser eggs in total in their bodies and 14.1% bad eggs - unlike women that never worked night shifts or carried heavy objects, CNN reports.

More studies are still needed to substantiate these findings

The researchers are not declaring their findings conclusive, and so call for more research in related fields to corroborate or substantiate these findings. The fact however remains that working women planning to conceive should be aware of these things so that they could better tackle challenges related to nightshift jobs and moving heavy objects at work and home, stated Lidia Minguez-Alarcon, lead author of the study and a research fellow in the Department of Environmental Health.

Other researchers who worked on the study noted that "these occupational exposures are affecting egg production and quality" in women of childbearing age, and this could somehow be linked to the disrupted stress-response the body is getting, since it is very clear that obese people can't really handle stress situations, Medpage Today added.

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