Outdoor air pollution and human infertility: a systematic review

Outdoor air pollution is known to have negative effects on public health and perinatal outcomes. In this review we analyze its impact on human fertility.

Like Comment

Volume 106, Issue 4, Pages 897-904


Miguel A. Checa Vizcaíno, Ph.D., Mireia González-Comadran, M.D., Benedicte Jacquemin, Ph.D.


Air pollution is a current research priority because of its adverse effects on human health, including on fertility. However, the mechanisms through which air pollution impairs fertility remain unclear. In this article, we perform a systematic review to evaluate currently available evidence on the impact of air pollution on fertility in humans. Several studies have assessed the impact of air pollutants on the general population, and have found reduced fertility rates and increased risk of miscarriage. In subfertile patients, women exposed to higher concentrations of air pollutants while undergoing IVF showed lower live birth rates and higher rates of miscarriage. After exposure to similar levels of air pollutants, comparable results have been found regardless of the mode of conception (IVF versus spontaneous conception), suggesting that infertile women are not more susceptible to the effects of pollutants than the general population. In addition, previous studies have not observed impaired embryo quality after exposure to air pollution, although evidence for this question is sparse.

Read the full text here.

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. 


Go to the profile of Mary Samplaski
over 5 years ago
Were the authors also able to determine if taking antioxidants was able to partially negate the negative effects of pollution? This is an issue that I have seen come up in my personal practice for the male population; but what can we do to proactively change it? Kudos for addressing a challenging topic.