outbrain
Close  

Atmospheric pollution could disrupt menstrual cycle function — study

/ 06:50 PM December 18, 2019
air pollution

Image: Julianna Nazarevska/IStock.com via AFP Relaxnews

In January 2018, an American study conducted by researchers at Boston University in the United States showed that air pollution could have an impact on the menstrual cycle. Now new research by Inserm scientists has provided further evidence of this phenomenon.

Rémy Slama of the Grenoble University Institute of Advanced Biosciences supervised the research which has been published in the review Environmental Pollution. The study recruited 184 women not using hormonal contraception. The participants agreed to collect urine samples at least every other day to allow the researchers to evaluate their exposure to pollution over the course of a 30-day period preceding a menstrual cycle.

ADVERTISEMENT

Environmental levels of particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide pollution were established on the basis of the home addresses of participants and data from permanent monitoring stations.

A longer follicular phase

FEATURED STORIES

Scientists observed a correlation between an increased concentration of particulate matter in the air and the duration of the preovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle, called the “follicular phase” (as opposed to the luteal phase, which corresponds to post-ovulation). The hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, the brain’s transmission chain of hormonal information between the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland (gland below the hypothalamus) and the ovaries, ensures the proper regulation of these phases.

The study suggests that the follicular phase tends to increase with pollution levels. Indeed, each 10 µg/m3 increase in particulate matter concentration in the air over a 30-day period before the cycle was associated with an increase in the duration of the follicular phase of about 0.7 days, or just under one day. On the other hand, no net change in the duration of the luteal phase or the total duration of the cycle was observed.

“These results are consistent with the more fundamental data suggesting that air pollution can disrupt the axis that controls the menstrual cycle and stress hormones such as cortisol, which can also influence it. It will probably take some time to refute or confirm this new hypothesis with larger population samples, given the cost and effort involved in such studies,” explained Rémy Slama in a press release published on the Inserm website. RGA

RELATED STORIES: 

LOOK: 104 pieces of plastic found in dead baby turtle’s stomach

Seeing through Asia’s air pollution problem

ADVERTISEMENT
TOPICS: Boston, menstruation, Pollution, United States, Women
Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.