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Sleep Disorders In Women Strongly Linked To Infertility Risk

Sleep disorders other than sleep apnea can increase infertility risk in women.

Sleep Disorders In Women Strongly Linked To Infertility Risk

Sleep disorders increase infertility risk in women


  1. Women with sleep disorders are more likely to deal with infertility
  2. This risk is expected to increase with age
  3. It may get worse due to unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking

Women who deal with sleep disorders other than sleep apnea are more likely to deal with infertility, as compared to other women who do not experience much trouble in sleeping, says a recent study. So insomnia is to blame not just for difficulty in sleeping in women, it is also the reason to blame for a four times higher risk of dealing with infertility as compared to the rest.

Where previous studies blamed sleep apnea for infertility, this new study has linked other sleeping disorders with female infertility. This study offers new evidence to show that women with sleep difficulties need to pay focus on healthy habits in order to ensure proper sleep if they are trying to conceive, explained the lead author of this study Dr. I-Duo Wang of the Tri-Service General Hospital and National Defense Medical Center in Taipei, Taiwan.

This risk is expected to increase with age and get worse due to habits like smoking, stress, drinking, unhealthy habits, obesity, STDs and even excess workout. For this, data of 16718 women, diagnosed with sleep disorders from 2000-2010 in Taiwan, was compared with the data of 33436 women who did not suffer from any sleep disorder.

At the beginning, the average age of the women was 35 years, ranging from 20-45 years. After a follow-up of five years, 29 women diagnosed with sleep disorders developed infertility as compared to 34 women in the other group.

Before accounting for other medical problems dealt by the women, women with sleep disorders were 2.7 times more likely to develop infertility, as reported by researchers in the journal Sleep.

After other medical factors like age and any other medical conditions dealt by women were taken into consideration, their risk of developing infertility increased 3.7 times. Other than this, women with sleep disorders were also at risk of developing high BP and cholesterol, irregular menses, thyroid, depression and anxiety. This study, however, was not a controlled experiment to state how sleep disorders are likely to cause infertility.

To increase the scale of the study, they also included some women dealing with infertility in this study. Researchers however lacked the information on factors like smoking, drinking, exercising and family medical history.

"We still have a lot to learn about how exactly sleep disorders confer risk for infertility," said Jennifer Felder, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, who wasn't involved in the study.

The results stated that women could add up insomnia to the list of potential reasons which can increase infertility risk in them.

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"Although we do not yet know whether treating sleep disorders improves fertility, treatment may help and is not likely to hurt," Felder said. "Cognitive behavior therapy is recommended as the first line of treatment approach for insomnia, which was the most prevalent sleep disorder in this sample, and it is available in-person with a therapist or via digital applications or self-help workbooks."

With inputs from Reuters


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