clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Working long hours may affect fertility

Working long hours may be good for a woman's career, but it could make it difficult for her to conceive, Thai researchers say.

Dr. Pitchaya Tuntiseranee and colleagues at Prince of Songkla University in Thailand found that women who worked more than 71 hours a week took longer to get pregnant."Our findings imply that long working hours could have an adverse effect on fecundity of the couple, which goes beyond the effect on libido and sexual activity," the researchers said in a report in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

They studied 1,496 women in southern Thailand who received prenatal care at two public hospitals. They compared their working hours, age, education, menstrual regularity, medical history, frequency of sexual relations and how long it took them to conceive.

"Women and men working more than 71 hours a week had the highest percentage of subfecundity (longer than 7.8 months to achieve pregnancy) both among first pregnancies and the total sample, and shiftwork had a similar distribution of subfecundity in both groups for both men and women."

Tuntiseranee said the adverse effect on fertility is probably specific to the type of work and could differ from one occupation to another.

The researchers called for further studies to evaluate the link between fertility and working hours.