It should be noted for all who wish to become mothers in the future that long work hours and heavy lifting affects fertility in women, which may delay pregnancy. The terms have been quite clearly established, respectively over 40 hours of work per week and regular lifting of 25 pounds or heavier loads several times per day.
A research team at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, have studied the effects of overworking or over-lifting on over 1,700 women who had reported attempts of getting pregnant. Half of them were at least 33 years old, around 44% were overweight or qualified for obesity, and 22% were or had been smokers at some point during their life.
Age, weight and vices, such as smoking or excessive drinking, had been reported as factors that can cause a delay in getting pregnant for women.
A normal couple has been estimated to need between 3 and 6 months to conceive a child, with a recommended frequency of sexual intercourse once every two or three days. However, out of all the participants, 16% failed to achieve their goal within 12 months, and another 5% were unable to conceive a child even after 2 years of attempts.
A number of around 33% reported working for over 8 hours per day, and 40% stated that they were regularly moving heavy objects.
According to lead author of the study, Audrey Gaskins, both physical and psychological strain due to long work hours or lifting heavy loads, can have a detrimental effect on women’s fertility and ability to get pregnant.
Women who worked more than 40 hours per week showed a 20% delay in getting pregnant compared to others who worked between 21 to 40 hours. Those who reported to lifting or moving heavy objects several times a day saw to a 33% delay in conceiving a child, that was even more prominent in women who were overweight or obese.
Researchers have uncovered that there are many situations that can diminish the ability of hopeful women in becoming pregnant, and their work environment is one of the crucial factors. Long work hours and heavy lifting can certainly be two of them, though it has been mentioned that night shifts or constantly rotating schedules do not affect fertility rates.
However, Courtney Lynch, a specialist in reproductive health at Ohio State University, has claimed that the study might be true, due to the fact that working over 40 hours per week or maneuvering 25 pounds worth of objects per day will also drastically lower energy levels and lead to exhaustion at the end of the day.
There may be more than a biological impairment at work, considering the frequency of sexual intercourse is very likely to be tied to energy levels, which in turn lowers the chances of a more speedy conception.
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