Working in night shift ups miscarriage risk

Updated: Jul 10, 2013, 22:29 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Women working in irregular shifts are likely to experience reduced fertility and greater menstrual disruption than those working in regular shifts, according to a new research.

The team of researchers led by Dr Linden Stocker and Dr Ying Cheong, Southampton’s Princess Anne Hospital, assessed the impact of non-standard working schedules, which included night and mixed shifts, on the reproductive outcomes of 119,345 women.

The study found that women who worked only nights had 29 percent increased rate of miscarriage.

Women who worked in rotational shifts had an 80 percent higher rate of subfertility - meaning that they were unable to conceive within a year compared with those working regular hours.

Women working out of the typical 9 am to 6 pm schedule also had a 33% higher rate of menstrual disruption, the study found.

“We don’t fully understand why shift workers have an increased risk of certain diseases but obviously shift work impacts on your biological functioning, your psychological functioning and your social functioning”, Dr Stocker was quoted as saying by an English news website.

The researchers, however, have asked women not to jump to a conclusion and quit jobs as the study is still in the preliminary stage.

Working odd hours is often linked to sleep loss, decreased exercise and poorer diet thereby drastically disrupting a woman’s body clock.

In a previous study, researchers had claimed that women who had worked in nights shifts for 30 or more years are twice as likely to suffer from breast cancer.