Working night shifts and manual labour jobs may lead to infertility in women

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A new research released in Paris, France has found that working nights and manual labour jobs that require heavy lifting may cause infertility in women.

"In the research study we conducted, we found that women with physically demanding jobs had a lower reserve of eggs than those whose work did not regularly require heavy lifting or working night shift," said a report on the study published in the Occupational and Environmental Medicine journal.

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The researchers analyzed approximately 400 women whose average age was 35. They assessed the remaining eggs the women had, their hormone levels and the number of eggs that are capable of developing into an embryo.

The data collected from the assessment was compared to their working conditions, how much physical exertion was required of them and the hours that they worked.

About 40 per cent of women said they had to regularly move or lift heavy objects, while a fifth said their jobs were moderately to very physically demanding. Ninety-one percent said they worked during normal office hours.

They found that women whose job involved heavy lifting had fewer mature eggs and even fewer if they worked evening, night or rotation shifts. The physical stress that such jobs cause on a woman’s body was found to be possible reason as to why the eggs diminish in quality in such a work environment.

“We already know that physical exertion and stress can inhibit the female reproductive system and make menstrual periods less regular or even absent,” said Channa Jayasena, a senior lecturer in Endocrinology at Imperial College London in an interview with UK newspaper, The Independent.

“Workers are increasingly moving away from traditional jobs and we still know very little about how this could affect our health.”

The researchers however noted that they merely observed a pattern in work conditions and fertility and could not say for certain that such conditions can lead to infertility.

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