It seems that air pollution is not only bad for our physical health, including breathing, but can also pose a risk to reproductive fertility. Want to know more about this? Check out the following article.
How Does Air Pollution Affect Fertility?
A study revealed that exposure to air pollution significantly increases the risk of infertility. The results of an analysis of 18,000 couples in China showed that high levels of small particle pollution increased the risk of infertility by 20%. Infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant within one year of trying.
The scientists stated that the study design did not allow them to definitively determine how air pollution might damage fertility. However, pollution particles have been known to cause inflammation in the body, which has the potential to impair egg and sperm production.
Another study conducted in the US also found a link between increased exposure to air pollution and the number of mature eggs in the ovaries of 600 women attending an infertility clinic. Half of all fertility problems are also related to sperm quality. Environmental pollutants can release Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), cause oxidative stress in sperm, and cause DNA fragmentation in the sperm head. Research shows that high levels of sperm DNA damage are associated with infertility problems.
Infertility is a problem that affects millions of couples worldwide, but research on the impact of air pollution on this problem is still limited. However, it is known that dirty air also increases the risk of other aspects of reproduction, such as premature birth and low birth weight.
In this context, general levels of nitrogen dioxide from air pollution are thought to be as harmful as smoking in increasing the risk of miscarriage, even as pollution particles are also found on the fetal side of the placenta.
Tips for Reducing the Risk of Air Pollution
For those who live in big cities like Jakarta, avoiding air pollution seems to be a very difficult task. Especially if the obligation to work outside the home is unavoidable. So, how can we reduce the risks from air pollution? Relax, there are still some easy steps that can be taken to overcome this problem:
- Choose a route out of the house that avoids areas with high pollution levels or congested highways.
- Use a mask when leaving the house to protect yourself from inhaled harmful particles.
- Avoid contact with active smokers which can worsen the air quality around you.
- Try placing potted plants around the house as a form of assistance in absorbing pollution and providing fresh, healthier air.
- Install an air purifier in your home to clean the air of various harmful particles, including smoke, mold and bacteria.
- Replace room deodorizers, hair sprays, wall paints, and other cleaners with products that don’t use harmful chemicals.
Here are some steps you and your partner can take to reduce the negative impact of air pollution on the reproductive health of both men and women. Although air pollution is hard to avoid, with these simple actions, you can reduce the health risks it causes.