Air Pollution And Menstrual Cycles
Air pollution has many recognized negative effects on health, including cardiovascular and lung disease, infertility, metabolic syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome. New research now suggests that it also can cause menstrual irregularity in teenage girls, leading to a longer time to establish regular periods. This finding comes from a Boston University School of Medicine analysis that compared health data from nearly 35,000 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study Two, and EPA information on air pollution exposure in specific locations during particular time windows. Results showed that exposure to air pollution was correlated with menstrual cycle irregularity among girls ages 14 to 18. Although the investigation didn’t prove cause and effect, other research has shown that air pollution can affect hormonal activity. The study didn’t investigate the effect on the girls’ long-term health and reproductive function, although some of the women participating indicated that it took five years or more for their periods to become regular. The researchers noted, however, that the results may be limited by the recall accuracy of the women participating.
Shruthi Mahalingaiah et al, “Perimenarchal air pollution exposure and menstrual disorders”. Human Reproduction, January 25, 2018; DOI: 10.1093/humrep/dey005
Also in this week’s bulletin: