Is your job hurting your fertility?

Possibly, says research published in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine. It found that women who work long hours and regularly perform heavy lifting may have more difficulty getting pregnant.

The study, conducted at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, looked at data on 1,739 women with an average age of 33 who were part of the 2010–2014 Nurses’ Health Study. All the women were trying to get pregnant, and they completed a questionnaire that detailed their work schedules and physical labor.

Compared with women who worked 21–40 hours each week, those who worked more than 40 hours weekly took around 20 percent longer to get pregnant, according to the results. In addition, women who moved or lifted a minimum of 25 pounds more than 15 times a day took around 50 percent longer to conceive than women who never lifted or moved heavy loads.

Heavy lifting was more strongly linked to longer duration of pregnancy attempt among women who were overweight or obese, the researchers report.

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