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Health Impact of Smog on Reproductive Health

One Health Impact of Smog Has to Do With Your Reproductive Wellness

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We all know the health impact of smog is not a good one.  However, while many people know that polluted air has an impact on respiratory wellness and can even increase the risk of some cancers, many people don’t realize that the impact of breathing in those pollutants is essentially systemic.

What is the Health Impact of Smog on Reproductive Wellness?

The health impact of smog affects both male and female reproductive wellness.  This can make it more difficult for couples to become pregnant.  Moreover, it can also raise the risk of complications once a woman does become pregnant.

Male Reproductive Health

The health impact of smog on men can include sperm motility.  It can drop quickly and steadily over time.  Environmental factors can have a direct impact on sperm motility, and this includes the pollution in the air a man breathes. 

The reason is that polluted air actually contains less oxygen.  This can have a damaging impact on sperm.  Though this may not actually reduce sperm numbers, its quality can deteriorate.  This won’t usually happen if someone visits a polluted area for a short time such as a day or a weekend.  However, if the air is bad in the place where you live, the long term exposure can be damaging.

That said, if a man leaves the polluted area and remains away for the longer term, sperm parameters can get better.

Female Reproductive Health

Women’s reproductive wellness also faces the health impact of smog.  Regularly breathing polluted air has an adverse effect on ovarian follicles.  The follicles are the part of the ovary in which the egg develops.  If problems begin to decrease the follicle quality, it means the genetic makeup of the egg will also face harm. 

Studies have already supported this claim, including one published in the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology journal. It examined the reproductive health of 1,300 women in Modena, Italy.  The data for the study spanned from 2007 through 2017.  It determined that age is the most important factor in fertility.  That said, it also pointed to the high exposure to the health impact of smog as factors decreasing “ovarian response by a factor of two or three.”