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Study of Taiwanese women; sleep problems may contribute to infertility.

A 10 year longitudinal study on Taiwanese women has revealed that infertility presents a likely correlation with sleep disorders.

The study was conducted by a team researchers led by Dr. I-Duo Wang of the Tri-Service General Hospital and National Defense Medical Center in Taipei.

It was conducted over the years 2000 to 2010 on 16,718 women that had been recently diagnosed with sleep disorders before the start of the research. For comparison, a group of 33,436 women who did not have sleeping problems were also monitored for the research.

The average age of women at the start of the study was 35 years old, with the minimum age of participants being 20, and the oldest being 45, according to the research paper.

Factoring in age and other health related issues, the study determined that women with sleep disorders are 3.7 times more likely to experience infertility. Sleep disorders also have a high correlation to other chronic health problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, as well as lung disorders and kidney problems.

Women suffering from lack of sleep are also more likely to have irregular menstrual cycles, thyroid issues, depression, and anxiety, the study found.

The study was not a controlled study, simply a longitudinal observation to establish correlations. As such, it does not establish a direct relationship between increased rates of infertility caused by lack of sleep or sleep related problems.

The variations among sleep disorders, as well as a lack of data related to things like smoking, drinking and exercise, means the study can only offer a cursory statement on correlation.

Previous studies have inferred a connection between infertility and sleep apnea, or disrupted breathing during sleep. However, the majority of women with a sleep disorder in this study suffered from insomnia.

Looking at the study in a more positive light, given the large number of women participating in the study, only a very small percentage actually developed infertility problems; 29 participants in the sleep disorder group of 16,718 women, and only 34 in the comparison group of 33,436.

Considering that the general statistic for women developing infertility problems in the developed world is around 1 in 8, to 1 in 10 women, the number of Taiwanese women in this study experiencing infertility appears much lower; less than .002 percent in both groups of women.

While the study surely supports the argument that diet, lifestyle choices, and adequate sleep can influence fertility in women, it may also be evidence that social and environmental factors make Taiwanese women much less prone to developing infertility than women in other developed countries.

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Publication:Taiwan News (Taipei, Taiwan)
Article Type:Clinical report
Date:Dec 17, 2017
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