Can Smoggy Air Affect The Menstrual Health of Teenage Girls & Women

The air which people breathe today has become so highly toxic that it can cause irrevocable damages to the human health. The adverse effects which air pollution has on the cardiovascular system and the respiratory tract are known to all. Nearly 1.2 million people die in India every year because of pollution. Experts equate breathing Delhi’s air to smoking 50 cigarettes a day. But can smoggy air affect your period too? Well, recent research suggests that air pollution can negatively impact other systems in a body, like the reproductive and endocrine system, and also a girl’s menstrual cycle. Being exposed to smoggy air tends to increase risk of irregular periods in a girl and also tends to have an adverse effect on the hormonal regulation in the body. Go through the following piece or read to know all about the effects of polluted air on menstrual cycle.

Can Smoggy Air Affect The Menstrual Health of Teenage Girls & Women

Can Smoggy Air Affect The Menstrual Health of Teenage Girls & Women?

For some women, menstrual cycles are regular and their periods happen at a particular time every month, until menopause. However, other women and girls suffer from menstrual irregularity, meaning they suffer from hormonal imbalance and their period does not occur regularly. In the past decade, issues with reproductive syndromes as a result of irregular periods have come more in the forefront.

Effects of Smoggy Air in Teenage Girls Menstrual Health

A teenage girl’s menstrual cycle can get affected by the quality of the air she breathes. Researchers have found that teenage girls exposed to air pollution face a greater risk of irregular periods. Exposure to polluted air between the ages of 14 to 18 years can increase a girl’s risk of menstrual irregularity. The body of a young girl undergoes many major changes during puberty. Estrogen and progesterone take time to reach a balance. The toxins present in the smoggy air impact the hormones and further disturb their balance, and lead to menstrual irregularity. It also takes a longer time for these female to achieve menstrual regularity in teenage and early adulthood.

Effects of Smoggy Air in Woman’s Menstrual Health

In a cross-sectional study conducted on about 35,000 women, it was found that air pollution is linked to metabolic syndrome or a group of heart risk factors, polycystic ovarian syndrome and infertility. A female’s reproductive functioning is a reflection of her menstrual cycle pattern. The reproductive system of girls, when they just started getting their periods, can be particularly sensitive to the effects of air pollution. Some toxins present in the atmosphere are absorbed by the body and start getting collected in the tissue of a female and are released many years later when females get pregnant, is lactating, or even postnatal development. Any disorder in any stage of the cycle can affect ovulation, conception, implantation, quality of oocyte, or the survival of the embryo.

Other Factors Which Affect The Menstrual Health

Other factors which cause menstrual irregularity are excessive exercise, certain medications, obesity, low body weight, bulimia, anorexia, and emotional stress. Disorders of the thyroid gland, i.e. hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, can also cause irregular periods.

Final Take

So the answer is YES, smoggy air can affect your period. Air pollution is a prominent environmental threat to the human health. The link between environment and the reproductive health of women is certainly worrisome. The recurrent problem of smog is having many adverse affects on the reproductive endocrine system of females. To resolve this issue, either girls’ exposure to air pollution should be limited, or more should be done for the environment to fight the problem of air pollution. Since the air being inhaled is leading to a slow death, getting rid of the problem of smog is the need of the hour.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 2, 2019

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