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    Vaginal microbiome may predict preterm birth


    How does work impact the chances of getting pregnant?

    A new analysis of data from the Nurses’ Health Study suggests that a woman’s work schedule may influence her ability to get pregnant. The findings, from a cohort of nurses, were reported in Occupational & Environmental Medicine by researchers from Harvard University.

    The Nurses’ Health Study 3 cohort included 1739 women, 93% of whom were Caucasian with a median age of 33 years. All were employed as nurses and trying to get pregnant during the study period, which was from 2010 to 2014.

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    Information on the women’s work schedules and physical labor was self-reported on a baseline questionnaire. Every 6 months thereafter, the women reported on the duration of their ongoing pregnancy attempts. Mutivariable accelerated failure time models were used to estimate time ratios (TR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

    After 12 and 24 months, the estimated proportions of women who did not get pregnant were 16% and 5%, respectively. None of their shift work patterns were associated with how long it took the women to get pregnant. However, it took women who worked more than 40 hours per week 20% longer to become pregnant than those who worked 21 to 40 hours per week (95% CI, 7% to 35%; P-trend=0.005).

    Moving more than 25 lb or lifting more than 15 times per day also was associated with a longer time to pregnancy (adjusted TR=1.49; 95% CI 1.20 to 1.85) compared to women who never lifted or moved heavy loads (P-trend=0.002).  The association between heavy moving and lifting and duration of pregnancy attempt was more pronounced in the women who were overweight or obese (body mass index [BMI] <25; TR=1.17; 95% CI 0.88 to 1.56 BMI≥25; TR=2.03; 95% CI 1.48 to 2.79; P-interaction=0.007).

    The authors concluded that in a cohort of nurses who wanted to become pregnant, working more than 40 hours per week and lifting a heavy load or lifting loads more frequently were associated with reduced fecundity.

    NEXT: Can oral contraceptives lessen arthritis outcomes?

    Judith M. Orvos, ELS
    Judith M. Orvos, ELS, is a a BELS-certified medical writer and editor and an editorial consultant for Contemporary OB/GYN.
    Miranda Hester
    Ms. Hester is Content Specialist with Contemporary OB/GYN and Contemporary Pediatrics.


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