Published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, a new study suggests that women who stand a lot during work hours might have a hard time conceiving.
A pool study conducted by a panel of scientists from the Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Centers for Disease Control focused on collecting information on a group of nurses who had previously been a part of the Nurse’s Health Study.
Data showed that one in three women had reported being on their feet for at least 8 hours each day, while 40 percent of them said that lifting heavy loads was a job they performed at least five times a day. At the same time, 16 percent of the 1,738 nurses who were attempting to have a baby were unable to do so within one year.
Senior author Audrey Gaksins said that results pointed out to the fact that sustaining heavy work that put a physical strain through long hours seemed to have a negative effect on the ability of female nurses to become pregnant.
According to experts, healthy couples are usually able to conceive in a matter of three months – or six, at most. This statistic excludes older couples, or those who deal with medical conditions; couples who sustain bad habits detrimental to fertility were also removed from the estimation.
Roughly half of the participating women were older than 33 years of age; 44 percent of them were overweight or obese; and 22 percent had a smoking history. Researchers noted that shifts, whether they worked day or night, did not have any impact on the how long it took for the nurses to conceive.
What did have an impact, however, is the frequent heavy lifting that’s part of the job. Even after the team excluded the women with irregular menstrual cycles, heavy lifting was still tightly connected, delaying the timeline to conception with 33 percent when compared to the average.
The data can, obviously, be interpreted in multiple ways. While she wasn’t part of the study, Courtney Lynch, a specialist in reproductive health from the Ohio State University, said that women might be experiencing difficulties conceiving because they are having less frequent intercourse because work is so demanding.
Whether this is the case or not, Lynch added that women who want to increase their chances of getting pregnant should be extra-careful with the lifestyle they’re maintaining, because being healthy has a great impact on the chances of creating a little bundle of joy.
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