The negative effects of growing pollution levels on humans are a serious concern for the medical fraternity. Apart from being a leading cause of several pulmonary diseases, air pollutants also affect other human body systems. A new research finds that exposure to pollutants could contribute towards infertility in women. The research is based on a sample of over 1300 women residing in Modena, Italy. The University of Modena provided the means to conduct this research. The researchers presented their findings at a meeting by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, Vienna. Reggio Emilia and Antonia La Marca are two of the lead researchers for this study.
Role of Anti-Mullerian Hormone
Increasing age has been earmarked as the primary factor affecting fertility in women. However, subsidiary factors such as regular exposure to high pollution levels could also reduce women’s fertility. The researchers studied the specifics of anti-Mullerian hormone that is responsible for producing viable eggs in women. This hormone is secreted by the cells in the ovary, and is responsible for maintaining an ‘ovarian reserve’. ‘Ovarian reserve’ refers to the count of fertile or viable eggs present in the ovary. The researchers used hormone measurements to study the fertility levels of women. These measurements were then compared with the women’s exposure to high pollution environments.
Inference and Limitations
The researchers found a relationship between fertility levels and exposure to pollution. Exposure to high pollution levels increased the chances of infertility in women by a couple of grades. However, the research did not establish a proper cause-effect relationship which is a major drawback.