Does Diwali Pollution Affect Women’s Fertility?

1 min read

pollution cause infertility in women
Khadija Rahman
A spirited writer who looks at the world with an inquisitive mind. Passionate about many things, she is an active campaigner for women’s rights and wants to change the world, one article at a time.

On the 27th of this month, people all across India celebrated Diwali. The festival of lights is celebrated by greeting one another with gifts, lighting diyas, bursting firecrackers and so much more. However, on Diwali, along with the rockets, smoke levels also skyrocket in India. And do you know that pollution cause infertility in women. Here we will read about it!

On this particularly hazy Monday morning, the air quality turned to ‘severe’ in New Delhi. Luckily, the use of restrained fireworks and blowing winds made this the least polluted Diwali in three years. Although measures are being taken, Delhi still struggles with the high level of pollution on a daily basis. 

Some people have gotten used to the pollution while others try to ignore it. But, people’s health is affected nevertheless. Did you know that some studies suggest women are more affected by pollution than men?

Can pollution cause infertility in women?

There was research done on 1318 women in Italy where the anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) was studied. This hormone is released by the ovary and represents the ovarian reserve or the number of viable eggs that a lady has. 

The hormones were compared based on the person’s exposure to pollution. Although the most significant factor on the AMH levels was a woman’s age, pollution was a factor too.

“Living in an area associated with high levels of air pollutants in our study increased the risk of severely reduced ovarian reserve by a factor of two or three,” said Antonio La Marca, who presented the study in Vienna at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual meeting.

Richard Anderson from the University of Edinburgh said “While this does not suggest a short-term problem for women trying to fall pregnant, it might indicate that women exposed to high levels of pollution might have a shorter opportunity to achieve a family, and even earlier menopause,” he further added. “However this sort of study cannot clearly show cause and effect, and it might be another aspect of the women’s lifestyle or environment that is the key factor.”

How to protect from pollution?

While many ill-effects of pollution are still being researched and studied about, the ones we know for sure are quite alarming. Let us look at some helpful tips that will help us stay protected.

  • Use proper N95 masks before stepping out of the house.
  • Keep purifying plants in the bedroom and other parts of the household as well.
  • Avoid walking outside in the morning and evening.
  • Consume food rich in magnesium, vitamin-c, and omega fatty acids as they help fight the side-effects of pollution.
  • Drink ginger-lemon tea or tulsi tea to help soothe allergies. 
pollution cause infertility in women

The government is taking measures to control air pollution in Delhi by introducing odd-even vehicle restrictions and adding green walls under flyovers. But, we individuals have a role to play as well. If you can, try car-sharing to work, don’t burn anything to pollute the environment, and avoid the use of plastic. These little measures go a long way in ensuring a healthy future for us and our kids.