Clocking in some additional hours on top of the normal 9-5 schedule? Those long or irregular shifts can be putting a serious strain on your reproductive health and fertility, according to reports by The Huffington Post. In a study led by Dr. Linden Stocker, a researcher with the University of Southampton in the U.K., women who work irregular hours, or anything outside of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., are at a higher risk for miscarriages, menstrual disruption, and failure to become pregnant after one year of trying.
Longer hours — usually performed by nighttime "shift workers" — mean less time to oneself, which consequently leads to less sleep, decreased exercise, and a poorer diet. In a 2004 study by Boston College and Sloan Work, more than one-third of companies reported an increase in the number of female shift workers. Until further studies replicate the results of fertility in shift workers, doctors recommend that women who work irregular shifts should try to improve their overall health by incorporating a balanced diet and exercise.