Women who work or lift a lot may struggle to get pregnant

admin   •   August 15, 2015   •   2771

Female workers takes a break on a fishing boat at the port of Rajin, in North Korean Special Economic Zone of Rason City, northeast of Pyongyang September 2, 2011. (Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Female workers takes a break on a fishing boat at the port of Rajin, in North Korean Special Economic Zone of Rason City, northeast of Pyongyang September 2, 2011. (Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters)

(Reuters Health) – 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 U.S. study suggests.

Researchers followed 1,739 nurses who were trying to get pregnant and estimated 16 percent of them failed to achieve this goal within 12 months, and 5 percent still hadn’t conceived after two years.

Working more than 40 hours a week was linked with taking 20 percent 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 percent.

“Our results show that heavy work, both in terms of physical strain and long hours, appears to have a detrimental impact on female nurses’ ability to get pregnant,” lead study author Audrey Gaskins, a researcher at Harvard T.H. 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 compromised 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 conceive.

Half of the women were at least 33 years old, about 44 percent were overweight or obese and 22 percent were current or former smokers.

The majority of the women worked exclusively days or nights, though 16 percent 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 percent reported lifting heavy loads up to five times a daily.

Frequency of night shifts or the duration 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 percent 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 Occupational 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 exhausted from lifting multiple heavy loads, said Courtney Lynch, a specialist in reproductive health at Ohio State University 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. Often sold as fertility monitors, some of these devices pinpoint ovulation by testing urine for spikes in certain hormones during that time of the month.

SOURCE: bit.ly/1HJlKCk Occupational and Environmental Medicine, online August 6, 2015.

DOH warns vs possible WILD disease outbreak due to consecutive typhoons

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) warned the public against the possible outbreak of waterborne and foodborne illnesses, influenza-like illnesses, leptospirosis and dengue (WILD) diseases after consecutive typhoons hit the country.

According to the Health Department, the widespread flooding and damage caused by the typhoons have brought health hazards to the public, especially the victims staying in evacuation centers.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III assured that the department and local government units (LGUs) are prepared to prevent any possible outbreaks. He also added that the DOH has released guidelines to its regional offices for contingency measures.

“We are very wary of possible outbreak of communicable, waterborne and vector-borne diseases after disasters, lalo pa ngayong may pandemiya na maaring magdulot ng (especially during this pandemic which can cause) complex situation,” he said in a statement.

Duque also cited the importance of practicing minimum health and safety protocols in evacuation centers. AAC

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DOH to conduct nationwide measles campaign beginning October 26

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 21, 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) will conduct a nationwide measles and polio supplemental immunization campaign starting October 26.

DOH Secretary Secretary Francisco Duque said there is still a need to prevent possible measles outbreak especially while the country is facing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

As of August 2020, there are around 3,500 reported measles cases with 36 deaths. Most of the cases are among children under five years old.

The nationwide Measles Rubella-Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization campaign will be rolled out in two phases. The DOH will be conducting the campaign for children under five years old which is around 9.4 million children for the measles-rubella vaccine and 6.9 million children for the oral polio vaccine.

“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, a high-quality immunization campaign is urgently needed to stop measles transmission and possible outbreaks. We encourage parents and caregivers to have their children immunized. The measles vaccine is safe, effective and free,” he said.

The DOH’s immunization campaign is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). UNICEF Philippines Representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnoro said there have been immunization challenges brought by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are at an especially challenging time when immunization for children is being threatened. All of us must do our part in ensuring children in our family are immunized, and that we provide the correct information to parents, community members and among our peers,” she said.

Meanwhile, Duque also assured that the health care workers who will participate in the campaign have been trained and will be provided with personal protective equipment.

The Phase 1 of the campaign will be conducted from 26 October to 25 November 2020 in Mindanao Regions, CAR, I, II, IV-B and V. Phase 2 will be conducted in February 2021 in Visayas Regions, NCR, III and IV-A. AAC

Police frontliners to undergo physical, mental health check—PNP

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 17, 2020

Police frontliners will undergo physical and mental check up beginning July 1, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

PNP Spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac said their troops that are manning checkpoints and other areas are also at risk for stress and anxiety, particularly when most of them have not been home for months.

Banac said a group of psychologists will monitor the physical and mental health of police officers.

“Kasabay niyan ang laboratory, X-Ray at ang ECG… so titingnan ang physical well-being mg mga pulis ( It includes laboratory, X-Ray, and ECG…so we will monitor the well-being of the police),” he said.

Banac also said they will prioritize police officers age 40 years old and above and those who will undergo the health check up should wear their complete uniform.

“Alam natin na kapag 40 years old and above mas marami nang dinaramdam physically at madali na silang maka-experience ng stress at fatigue (We know that 40-year-olds and above are more susceptible to experiencing physical fatigue. They experience stress more easily),” he added.

Police officers with the birth month of January will be scheduled for the physical and neuro-exam from July 1 to 3. Meanwhile those born in February and March will be scheduled from July 6 to 8 and July 9 to 13, respectively. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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