A new large-scale study has discovered a link between air pollution and declining ovarian reserves. The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology looked at real-world data from over 1,300 Italian women. It was discovered that air pollution can have a negative impact on a woman’s fertility.
Here, we’ll look at what the study found and how patients can check their fertility with an ovarian reserve test.
Understanding the study into ovarian reserves
The study involved analysing hormone data for over 1,300 women in the Modena area in Italy. The data was taken from the year 2007 through until 2017. After compiling it into a large database, the measurements were extended to link hormone levels with residential and age information.
It is already known that a lot of environmental chemicals can disturb the physiology of hormones. The researchers were looking at one hormone in particular within this study – the Müllerian hormone (AMH). This hormone is produced by the ovaries and is known to be a reliable marker of ovarian reserve. It’s already known that smoking and age can influence AMH levels. However, this is the first time that environmental pollution has been found to also impact the hormone.
The environmental exposure assessment looked into nitrogen dioxide levels, alongside particle matter. It was discovered that environmental factors also played a role in AMH levels.
Although there is a link between air pollution and ovarian reserve, the largest link remains a patient’s age. The older a woman gets, the lower her ovarian reserve becomes. This, in turn, reduces the likelihood of conception.
Should patients check their ovarian reserves?
Women who are worried about their ovarian reserves can have them checked. It’s well known that girls are born with all of the eggs they’ll ever have.
By the time they reach puberty, girls have an average of 300,000 eggs. These develop and mature over a woman’s lifetime and each has a different number of eggs. As you age, the number of eggs you have in your supply diminishes at a staggering rate. Once the eggs run out, that’s when the menopause kicks in.
An ovarian reserve test will let you know how many eggs you roughly have left. This will in turn help to identify how well you’ll respond to fertility treatment. It can also reveal how much time you have left to use your remaining eggs. The test is especially important at determining whether or not drugs used to stimulate the ovaries would prove effective in those with a low reserve.
The test involves carrying out a transvaginal ultrasound and a blood test to measure the AMH levels. This is one of the most accurate tests to detect ovarian reserves. At SureScan, our fertility tests include an ovarian reserve test.
This latest research show that air pollution can have a significant impact on a woman’s fertility. Therefore, those who live within high air pollution towns and cities might want to consider freezing their eggs. This would mean air pollution wouldn’t be able to stop the women getting pregnant later on in life if they choose to.
Call 07835 736627 to arrange a fertility health check at SureScan for more advice and tests.