Just what we didn’t need: another thing to worry about. We try to increase our chance of success conceiving by improving our general health before trying to conceive. Men and woman stop smoking and recreational drugs, eat right, take vitamins and exercise regularly. But now we also have to worry about the traffic?
The probability of implantation and live birth after in vitro fertilization (IVF) is lower for women who live close to a major roadway, and are therefore exposed to traffic-related air pollution, new research shows. “Over the past decade, chronic exposure to traffic-related air pollution has become increasingly recognized as an important risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes, including preterm birth, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, restricted fetal growth, and low birth weight,” said Audrey Gaskins, ScD, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
The biologic mechanisms that mediate the “effect of air pollution on later pregnancy and birth outcomes — such as increased oxidative stress, systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and DNA damage — could also affect earlier pregnancy outcomes, such as fertilization, early embryo development, and implantation,” she explained at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) 2017 Scientific Congress in San Antonio.
After factors such as maternal age, body mass index, and smoking were controlled for, the researchers found that the probability of live birth after IVF was lower in women who lived close to a class A roadway, defined as an interstate, federal highway, or state highway. There was no association between proximity to a major roadway and implantation or clinical pregnancy, but the odds of pregnancy loss was 2.72 times higher for women living within 200 meters of a major roadway than for those living more than 1000 meters away. So nthe problem is increased pregnancy loss which every pregnant woman needs to be concerned about.
“Our research not only corroborates evidence from studies of women attempting to conceive naturally and through assisted reproduction, it also highlights the fact that exposure to traffic-related air pollution may have an effect on early implantation failure,” Dr Gaskins said.
This is not a factor that you can easily modify but if you think it affects you, you should make your doctor aware of your situation.