The impacts of global warming and climate change are worldwide. The World Health Organisation estimates that the warming and precipitation trends due to anthropogenic climate change of the past 30 years already claim over 1,50,000 lives annually. And the direct financial cost of the damage it will have on our health is estimated to come in at around US$2-4 billion in just over 15 years’ time.
The women are more vulnerable to such change in climate as this effects the reproductive health of the women. In a survey carried out independently, 26 out of 30 gynaecologists confirmed that the change in fertility ratio is prominently seen in the young fertile women aging 20-35. Some of them even mentioned the effect of climate change of the menstruation cycle leading to early onset of menopause. Poly Cystic Ovary Disorder has been another common problem these days especially in polluted areas. Due to PCOD the level of Estrogen are effected, leading to infertility. Not just women, chemicals like PCBs effects the fertility of men too, leading to decrease of 17-19 percent in potency (a study done by American Chemical Society).
A study done by Boston University recorded that women who live close to main roads i.e; within 199 meters, suffer 11 percent more likely to experience the problem of infertility than women who lived farther from the main roads. The report also mention that when women lived close to major roads, they were 5 percent more likely to report primary infertility. For an individual case it may not seem to be very important, but considering so many women in the society are exposed to pollution and climate change this data can be critical.
Even Civil society organisations, like International Planned Parenthood Federation and other members of the Population and Sustainable Development Alliance (PSDA), were at the climate conference at Paris (COP 21) to call for reproductive health services, like family planning, to be included in plans for climate adaptation and climate resilient development.
Hence, this can be said that effect of climate change is visible not only on female reproductive health but male too. And it can be stated that this is just one of the many health issues caused due to climate change.
Author – Pooja Gupta