High pollution levels can increase risk of sperm damage and miscarriage

A dark blanket of smog hovers over Delhi sky yet again! Here's high levels of pollution can trigger infertility problems in people.

air pollution
Delhi pollution levels can increase sperm damage and miscarriage risk. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Gunjan Gupta Govil Updated on: 7 November 2022, 10:36 am IST
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Air pollution in Delhi has once again reached a high! The dangerous Air Quality Index (AQI) levels of the city are now a major cause for concern because it is not only affecting the lungs, eyes, and hearts but also affecting sexual desires. The city’s deteriorating air quality has had a negative impact on the locals’ sexual drive. The city’s surrounding smog is dangerous for one’s overall health. With complaints of sinusitis, congestion, difficulty breathing, and asthma, many patients of older age are dealing with major respiratory issues, and many women who are attempting to conceive report a decline in their sexual interest.

How can pollution affect the infertility of men?

Male infertility is thought to be the only factor contributing to the couple’s inability to conceive as a result of the rise in pollution. As per reports, every third man suffers from infertility issues. High levels of pollution also lead increase chances of miscarriages.

infertility risk
How pollution increases the risk of infertility? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

The problem emerges because breathing such hazardous air causes sperm to deteriorate and results in a much lower sperm count than may be ideal for conception. Despite numerous tries, the sperm’s low motility, count, and concentration prevent them from reaching the Fallopian tube, which results in the partner’s inability to conceive. One of the early signs of the formation of male infertility is a loss of interest in sexual activity.

The process that causes sperm cells to decline and die is known as endocrine disruptor activity (hormonal imbalance). The particles in the air we breathe are 30 times smaller than human hair and include estrogenic and antiandrogenic substances, including copper, zinc, lead, and others. If inhaled for an extended period of time, these substances can also suppress sperm and testosterone synthesis.

A decreasing desire for sexual activity results from lower testosterone levels, which may disrupt your sex life. Even in men who are fertile, chemical reactions in the blood lead to an increase in the concentration of free radicals, which indirectly affects the quality of sperm. These chemical reactions are brought on by diesel exhaust and rising levels of ozone, sulphur dioxide, and particulate matter mixed in the air.

effects of pollution on infertility
Here’s how air pollution increases the risk of infertility. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

How to tackle the depleting sperm count?

Though pollution cannot be avoided completely, certain lifestyle changes and dietary control measures can help maintain the optimal level of sperm count ideal for conception. For a healthy sperm to develop, a few tips can be followed which will help in maintaining sperm quality, quantity, concentration and motility. Some of the changes you can include:

  • Increase the intake of antioxidants.
  • Eat a diet rich in antioxidants.
  • Drinking plenty of water as it helps remove unwanted waste from the body.
  • Include more zinc-rich foods, which is the building block for sperm cells, in your diet.

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About the Author
Dr Gunjan Gupta Govil Dr Gunjan Gupta Govil

Dr Gunjan Gupta Govil, Gynecologist, IVF Expert, Founder and Chairman, Gunjan IVF World Group

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