Good air quality is essential for maintaining overall health. Because our health represents what we breathe. Poor air quality can cause short to long-term effects on our health. It leads to various problems such as headaches, dizziness, pneumonia and even cancer. But do you know the new concerning issue is that air pollution affects fertility? Yes, Air pollution can make it difficult for couples to conceive a healthy baby.

Having a healthy baby is a dream for many couples, but issues like air pollution can make it difficult. A study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health noted that women living near roadways with higher pollution levels had lower chances of successful pregnancies. (Harvard School of Public Health). Another research found that urban areas with high air pollution levels significantly impact fertility. Exposure to PM2.5 reduces the ovarian reserve and lowers pregnancy rates. (Source: Environmental Science & Technology)

Air pollution is affecting the lives of many people. It causes many health issues and now many studies have claimed that air pollution affects fertility. Let us explore how air pollution can impact fertility. We will also know the solutions to protect yourself from air pollution for better reproductive health.

Which pollutants affect fertility in couples?

Air pollution is caused by various pollutant emissions in the environment. Many pollutants are responsible for it. Including, particulate matter PM10, PM2.5, sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO) and other pollutants. These pollutants are emitted from various sources such as factories, vehicles, construction, wildfires and others.   

Living in highly polluted areas is linked to many health issues, including respiratory problems and other conditions like asthma, emphysema COPD etc (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Besides, air pollution is also linked to extreme issues like cancer and cardiovascular disease. And now these pollutants are also linked with fertility issues. A study by WHO shows that 1 out of 6 couples globally cannot conceive a baby.

Air pollutants that affects fertility

With it, air pollution is also linked to birth defects. As it is also a threat to pregnancies and infants. But you might have questions as to how does air pollution affects fertility? Because mostly fertility issues depends on the age and lifestyle of a person.

Infertility issues are rising due to many factors, air pollution is a significant one that we often overlook. It happens due to various pollutants present in the environment. Long-term exposure to these pollutants associated with human cell inflammation and oxidative stress. Hence, it leads to many other health issues, including result in reproductive hormone disturbance. And this is how air pollution affects fertility.   

How does air pollution affects fertility in Male?

Air pollution affects on male fertility

A recent study has revealed that air pollution exposure is linked to a decrease in male sperm quality. It has been found that PM2.5 exposure leads to a decrease in sperm motility and morphology.  

It shows how air pollution and male fertility correlate. Data shows that ozone (O3) reduces sperm count in men.

Other pollutants, including sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), ozone (O3), and carbon monoxide (CO), negatively impact male testosterone levels.

This leads to issues such as sperm DNA fragmentation and sperm aneuploidy, further compromising male fertility.

Air Pollution affect fertility in female:

Women infertility due to air pollution

Recently, more women are facing hormonal conditions that are affecting their reproductive hormones.

A toxic environment significantly disrupts hormone levels, menstrual cycles and reproductive function. A study indicates that particulate matter pollution has profound effects on female fertility.

High exposure to PM2.5 and PM10 can adversely affect AMH levels (Anti-Mülleriann Hormones).

It also affects the Antral Follicle Count (AFC) in females, which greatly influences ovarian reserve and fertility. It leads to a rise in miscarriage rates and the risk of stillbirth.

How does Air pollution affect pregnancy?

Air pollution can influence the comfort and satisfaction level of any person. Eventually, it may decrease pregnancy chances. Because stress level during pregnancy or fertility treatments triggers the hormone levels. As a result, it can lead to pregnancy failures and associated complications. Hence, the couple can face problems in conceiving the baby.

Here is how to address health effects of air pollution: Click here

How to Prevent Fertility Issues by Reducing Air Pollution Exposure?

Air pollution control cannot entirely controlled. However, we can focus on some steps to minimize our long-term exposure and stay healthy. Here are the steps to control the air pollution exposure:

How to prevent infertility

1. Track Air Quality Index (AQI): 

Firstly, it is crucial to know what we breathe or if is it affecting fertility. For this, real-time air quality data is necessary. It will help in knowing what pollutants in the air are affecting your health. You can check it through the air quality data provided by the environmental organizations. It will help in making informed decisions for outdoor activities. You can also check the indoor air quality by installing an air quality monitor.

2. Invest in Air purifiers:

Installing advanced air purifiers with HEPA Filters can help in cleaning and enhancing the air quality. Through it, you can improve your indoor air quality and breathe in a clean environment. It is highly mandatory for pregnant women and infants.

3. Limit your outdoor activities:

Stay up-to-date by knowing air pollution data to make informed decisions. You can avoid or limit your outdoor activities during high air pollution. Staying inside during the peak hours of air pollution can protect from pollutants exposure.

4. Follow a healthy lifestyle:

Ensuring and protecting from air pollution can help in reducing toxic levels. Further, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a healthy weight can help. But, you have to consider indoor exercises to avoid air pollution.

Also know the air pollution affects on the mental health: Click here

This post is also available in: Global French Hindi IND English UK English US English