Researchers have found that living near a noisy road can negatively affect couples who are trying to conceive.
Conceiving can be difficult enough for some couples without having to contend with noise pollution. However, if you and your spouse are trying to get pregnant, it may take you longer to be successful if you live near a busy, noisy street. Don't worry too much, though. Living near a noisy street won't make you infertile. It may just take you up to 12 months before you can successfully conceive. Researchers say that every excess 10 decibels of noise will make it five to eight percent more likely that a couple will take more than six months to conceive.
What exactly is it about noise that can delay conception? Researchers think that constant exposure to street noise may negatively impact a woman's natural ovulation pattern.
65,000 women living in Denmark participated in the Danish National Birth Cohort, a six-year project that went on from 1996 to 2002. Researchers analyzed the data from the project to come up with their findings. They selected women who were trying to conceive during the time period of the project. The researchers also made sure that data on street noise where the women lived was also available.
According to previous research, 80% of women who are actively trying to get pregnant are usually successful within six months. However, the researchers found that women who lived near noisy streets took six to 12 months to get pregnant. As mentioned above, the noisier it is, the longer it will take for couples to conceive.
Even when the researchers took factors like poverty or nitrogen oxide pollution into account, their previous findings held true. This is a strong indication that noise pollution may indeed be behind delays in conception.
What researchers still don't know is whether noise pollution affects both men and women or just women. Either option is possible. However, whichever one is true, it still stands that noise pollution may have an effect on conception.
This, of course, is concerning. As cities grow, so do its noise levels. Thus, this may impact people's reproductive health. City and town planners as well as politicians would do well to take the findings of this study into account. After all, reducing street noise in urban areas has a number of other benefits.
In the meantime, the researchers recommend that couples who are trying to conceive can choose bedrooms that don't face the street. Other than that, couples can also close the windows at night to reduce the street noise that seeps into the bedroom.
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