Congratulations on your decision to start your new family! This is an incredibly exciting time in your life, and you may have a lot of questions - especially if you are experiencing difficulties. As many new mothers-to-be know, fertility is a complex issue. There are an abundance of different factors that come into play when considering fertility and reasons for why you may be struggling with conception. If this is you, it’s recommend that you talk to your doctor immediately to figure out the best strategy for your family.

If you’re struggling or simply curious about causes for infertility that your doctor might not touch on, this article will explore some of the possible effects of air pollutants, and whether or not this is something you should be concerned about when considering having children.

What Are Air Pollutants?

As a basic definition: air pollution is classified as anything that can be found in the air that really just shouldn’t be there. Some common, buzzwordy examples include particulate matter, Ozone, Nitrogen dioxide, Carbon monoxide, and Sulphur dioxide. Like fertility, pollution is a complex matter. Different air pollutants are a result of different industrial and environmental factors, and as a result they can all have very different effects when it comes to you and your baby-to-be’s health.

When considering air pollution, outdoor pollution from traffic and industrial emissions tend to be the focus of the conversation. Many people fail to consider indoor air pollution as a potential danger, which could be a lethal mistake. Contemplate carbon monoxide, for example--you most likely have a detector installed in your house for this deadly gas, (and if you don’t, you should get one!) as exposure to it can be quickly fatal.

Have you considered that there are a slew of other household pollutants that still pose a risk, yet often fly under the radar? Some examples include molds, chemical solvents (often found in common household cleaners), and tobacco smoke. We all already know that smoking and second-hand smoke wreaks havoc on our health--it’s time to stop and really consider the air that we breathe.

Are Air Pollutants Dangerous to your Fertility?

We have already established that air pollutants are dangerous and potentially deadly. Let’s look at the data regarding fertility: in 2017, Environmental Health published a journal article on this exact subject. If you are a hardcore data-driven type, feel free to go check it out yourself.

For those who just want the run-down: essentially, scientists collected data from several studies that were already published on the matter. The studies that they looked at concerned fertility in humans and animals, and all spanned between the years 2000 to 2016. They reviewed numerous journal entries on the subject and utilized a special algorithm to determine that air pollution did in fact have a negative impact on general reproductive function in females.

The exact effects are difficult to measure due to the nature of the aggregated study. For example, it was found that mice in San Paulo, Brazil (where there is a high level of air pollution) produced significantly less offspring than the average, healthy mouse. Obviously mice are not men, but studies like these do provide some insight into how pollution can interfere with natural biological processes.

In studies on humans, the scientists found that fecundity--or the ability to get pregnant--generally decreased in women who were exposed to medium to high levels of air pollutants.

It’s made clear that around the world and across the board, women who are exposed to air pollutants are at a greater risk of of infecundity. What isn’t made clear, however, is which exact air pollutants cause the greatest risks to infertility.

What’s the Best Course of Action?

There are many types of air pollutants to consider, and we don’t yet know exactly which ones put women at a higher risk of infertility, so it’s best to armor yourself as much as possible if this is something that you are genuinely concerned about.

Depending on where you live, air pollution can be incredibly difficult to avoid all-together. If you live in an urban area with high levels of smog, consider wearing a surgical facemask when exposed to traffic pollution. If you work in an industrial environment or with volatile chemicals, always make sure to follow proper protocol for protecting yourself from dangerous inhalants.

You can protect yourself from common but also highly dangerous household air pollutants like mold spores by simply installing an air purifier in your home and office. This is especially important considering that home and work are where we spend most of our time, and where we get most of the air that we breathe.

Protect Yourself

The evidence is made clear that pollution can create serious consequences in regards to fertility. If you are serious about trying to start your family, it’s highly recommended that you take action to protect yourself against air pollution sooner rather than later!

Author's Bio: 

Catia is a web development professional and freelance writer who specializes in solving issues people face in their everyday lives.

Holding a degree in English lit from the Melbourne in Australia, Catia found with the aid of her degree and love of writing, she was able to pen wonderfully engaging and thought provoking self help guides.

Catia loves to solve unique problems people face in everyday life with a particular focus on whether new technology can help us save time and free up our lives.

Her favorite topic to write about is technology in the home and work environments as it also ties in with his hobby of building and fixing electronic equipment.