Traf­fic noise spells preg­nancy dif­fi­culty

The Star Early Edition - - HEALTH -

LON­DON: Cou­ples liv­ing near busy roads may find it harder to get preg­nant due to the stress of traf­fic noise, ac­cord­ing to re­searchers.

Women ex­posed to noisy roads are more likely to take six to 12 months to fall preg­nant. Their chances of that de­lay rise 8% for ev­ery 10-deci­bel in­crease in the vol­ume of traf­fic, an anal­y­sis of more than 65 000 women found.

Pre­vi­ous re­search found traf­fic noise could de­lay ovu­la­tion in women, while the stress and sleep dis­rup­tion it brings may af­fect men’s sperm qual­ity.

The study, pub­lished in the jour­nal En­vi­ron­ment In­ter­na­tional, fol­lows re­search show­ing that liv­ing close to busy roads raises risks of preg­nant women suffering se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions.

The au­thors, led by Jeppe Schultz Christensen at the Dan­ish Can­cer So­ci­ety Re­search Cen­tre in Copenhagen, said: “Traf­fic noise in­duces sleep dis­tur­bance and stress. Sleep dis­tur­bances and stress may af­fect the fe­cun­dity (time to preg­nancy).” Cou­ples liv­ing near noisy roads show raised lev­els of the stress hor­mone cor­ti­sol, be­lieved to ac­ti­vate a par­tic­u­lar area of the brain, known as the hy­po­thal­a­mus-pi­tu­itary-adrenal axis.

Ac­ti­va­tion of this area is thought to make con­cep­tion dif­fi­cult, with pre­vi­ous re­search show­ing it can al­ter blood flow in the fal­lop­ian tubes. The change to the brain from traf­fic noise may also de­lay a hor­mone surge which trig­gers ovu­la­tion and af­fects sperm pro­duc­tion in men.

Professor Adam Balen, of the Bri­tish Fer­til­ity So­ci­ety, said: “The study is small and shows only a small ef­fect. There is no ev­i­dence of a cause for the ef­fect seen, which would be crit­i­cal if it is to in­form pa­tients and doc­tors about po­ten­tial causes of in­fer­til­ity.” – Daily Mail

Traf­fic noise could de­lay ovu­la­tion

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