Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 18th 2015 Contents B42
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Women who work more than 40
hours a week or routinely lift heavy
loads may take longer to get pregnant
than women who don t, a US study
Researchers followed 1,739 nurses
who were trying to get pregnant and
estimated 16 per cent of them failed
to achieve this goal within 12 months,
and five per cent still hadn t conceived
after two years. Working more than 40
hours a week was linked with taking
20 per cent longer to get pregnant,
compared to women who worked 21 to
Moving or lifting at least 25-pound
loads several times a day was also tied
to delayed pregnancy, extending the
time to conception by about 50 per
"Our results show that heavy work,
both in terms of physical strain and
long hours, appears to have a detri-
mental impact on female nurses ability
to get pregnant," lead study author
Audrey Gaskins, a researcher at Harvard
TH Chan School of Public Health in
Boston, said by email.
Most healthy couples can conceive
within three to six months, though the
process can take longer for people who
are older or who have fertility com-
promised by certain medical conditions
or by smoking or excessive drinking.
For the current study, Gaskins and
colleagues reviewed data on women
participating in a nationwide survey of
nurses between 2010 and 2014 who at
some point said they were trying to
Half of the women were at least 33
years old, about 44 per cent were over-
weight or obese and 22 per cent were
current or former smokers.
The majority of the women worked
exclusively days or nights, though 16
per cent of them had rotating shifts at
different times. About one third of the
women were on their feet for at least
eight hours a day, and 40 per cent
reported lifting heavy loads up to five
times a daily.
Frequency of night shifts or the dura-
tion of rotating or non-rotating evening
work wasn t linked to the time it took
women to conceive, the study found.
When researchers excluded women
who had irregular menstrual cycles,
which can independently impair fertility,
they still found that heavy lifting was
linked to a 33 per cent longer timeline
to conception. The impact of heavy
lifting was also more pronounced for
overweight and obese women.
It s possible that certain working
conditions might make pregnancy more
likely, and it s also possible that women
who struggle to get pregnant may
choose to work longer hours, the
researchers acknowledge in Occupa-
tional and Environmental Medicine.
There also may be a much simpler
explanation for the delayed times to
conception for women who work more
or come home more physically exhaust-
ed from lifting multiple heavy loads,
said Courtney Lynch, a specialist in
reproductive health at Ohio State Uni-
versity in Columbus.
"If this effect is real, it is likely due
to the fact that these women are having
less frequent intercourse due to their
work demands," Lynch, who wasn t
involved in the study, said by email.
Couples who want to get pregnant
faster should have sex at least twice a
week, and not only on weekends, she
advised. Women should also maintain
a healthy weight, get enough exercise
and avoid smoking and stress.
When women struggle to conceive,
they may consider using devices that
help track ovulation, Lynch added.
Women who lift a lot may struggle to get pregnant
Sierra Leone lifted its last major
Ebola quarantine on Friday as Pres-
ident Ernest Bai Koroma expressed
confidence that the country would
soon be free of the virus.
The more than 500 residents of the
northern village of Massessebeh gath-
ered in the streets, singing and waving
palm branches, after Koroma cut a piece
of tape used as a cordon.
"I am sure within August we will
start counting the first 21 days of zero
(new cases)," said Koroma, referring to
the incubation period of the virus. "I
believe we cannot go back, we can only
Sierra Leone now has just two con-
firmed Ebola patients, he added. The
18-month epidemic has killed more
than 11,200 people in West Africa but
case numbers have fallen sharply, with
just one reported in Sierra Leone and
two in Guinea last week.
Neighboring Liberia, which has the
highest death toll from the epidemic,
has no current cases.
Ya Amie Koroma, 85, no relation to
the president, stood in front of her
house and danced to celebrate the end
of the three-week quarantine.
"All I want now is to see my great-
grandchild," she said. The baby was
born in a health facility outside the vil-
Other Massessebeh residents say the
quarantine period, imposed after just
one resident died from the virus, has
been gruelling despite daily provisions
of food and water by the United Nations
children s agency Unicef.
Ramatu Sankoh, 20, is one of three
women who had to give birth in iso-
lation during the quarantine.
"I did not feel good living under
quarantine because I was pregnant and
my husband, who would normally go
out to fend for us, could no longer do
so because of the restrictions," she told
Reuters, clutching her newborn baby.
A 14-year-old girl, Emma Kamara,
said she had not seen her parents for
weeks, since they were out working at
a mine when the quarantine was
enforced. Small communities of a few
dozen people remain under quarantine
in other parts of the northern Tonkolili
district and in Sierra Leone s capital
Sierra Leone lifts last major
Ebola quarantine as cases recede
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and Advice
One US study shows that working more than 40 hours a week was linked with taking 20 per cent longer to
get pregnant, compared to women who worked 21 to 40 hours. Moving or lifting at least 25-pound loads
several times a day was also tied to delayed pregnancy, extending the time to conception by about 50 per
Links Archive August 17th 2015 August 19th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page