Could Your Job Make it Harder for You to Get Pregnant?

A new study found that women who worked more than 40 hours a week or frequently lifted heavy loads at work took longer to get pregnant than those who didn't.
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We've heard over and over (and over and over) that stress and pregnancy don't mix well, nor do stress and trying to conceive. And new research out now seems to further underscore that point.

It turns out that in a study conducted among more than 1,700 nurses around the country who were trying to conceive between 2010 and 2014, those who worked more than 40 hours a week or frequently lifted heavy loads at work took longer to get pregnant than those who didn't.

Of the total group of nurses, about 16 percent didn't get pregnant within a year, and about 5 percent still didn't within two years. Those who worked more than 40 hours weekly took about 20 percent longer to conceive compared with those who worked less. And moving or lifting at least 25 pounds multiple times daily appeared to increase time to successful conception by about 50 percent.

Of course, it also stands to reason that people who work more might have a harder time conceiving... because they have less time for sex!

"If this effect is real, it is likely due to the fact that these women are having less frequent intercourse due to their work demands," said Courtney Lynch, a specialist in reproductive health at Ohio State University in Columbus in an interview with Reuters. She said couples who want to get pregnant faster should have sex at least twice weekly, and obviously not just on weekends when work schedules may permit. (She wasn't involved with the study, but makes an excellent point!)

The study was published earlier this month in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Alesandra Dubin is a mom to one-year-old boy-girl twins. She's also a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of lifestyle blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.

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