Multidimensional Impact of Climate Change on Human Reproduction and Fertility: A Medical Perspective on Changing Dynamics

Multidimensional Impact of Climate Change on Human Reproduction and Fertility: A Medical Perspective on Changing Dynamics

Ranjana Hanumant Choudhari
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 38
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4480-8.ch014
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Research has identified a multidimensional, interactive relationship between climate change variables and an adverse (mostly) impact on the mammalian reproductive systems, reproductive organs, and fertility in animals, but direct evidence establishing the impact of climate change on reproductive health and fertility in humans is limited. Climate change has established direct or indirect linkages with re-emergence, geospatial redistribution of pathogens of likely reproductive health significance in humans. Similarly, alterations in growth, mortality rate, reproduction, and spatiotemporal distribution of vectors (e.g., zika virus – Aedes aegypti) and intermediate hosts (e.g., Schistosomiasis – snail) of certain infectious diseases of reproductive health importance are influenced by climate change variables like temperature, precipitation, and humidity. The exposure channels or effect pathways, through which the regional and global climate change can directly or indirectly influence the human reproductive ability, health, fertility, progeny, and thus, ultimately, demography can broadly be classified as physical variables, chemical hazards, biological agents, factors related to psycho-socio-behavior, and economy. The chapter is an overall account of how each of these factors, as an inherent component of climate change has the potential to cause a variable degree of impact on human reproduction from a medical point of view. As human reproductive systems are highly vulnerable to diseases and other post-catastrophic effects of extreme climate change events, so it is high time to understand the adversity and resort to proper and sustainable control measures for a healthy reproductive life of future generations.
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Multiple, Complex, Inter-Active Linkages Between Climate Change And Human Reproductive Outcome

Whether, how and to what extent the climate change can impact demography, through its effect on human reproductive functions, reproductive ability and fertility is a million-dollar question? This under-rated nexus of climate change with human reproduction and fertility, has recently gained much-needed scientific attention and concerns due to its potential economic consequences. Although the climate change variables have potential to mediate their ultimate impact on human reproduction through a variety of complex and interlinked pathways including economical and psychological factors, how various climate change variables ultimately affect the physical aspect of the reproductive health and fertility is discussed at length in this chapter, as illustrated in Fig. 1. Effects of changes in the climate change variables regulating the socio-economic and psycho-social(measured as behavioural changes)determinants of human reproductive health have been addressed in brief, as they are based on less of empirical evidences and more on probable, predictive causation theories like The Climate Change-Economy-Demography Theory. Although, there are multiple interactive linkages among various climate change parameters having potential to influence the human reproductive health and fertility, for ease of description and comprehension purpose, climate change variables can be categorised into five distinctive groups, as under (1) physical, (2) chemical, (3) biological, (4) psycho-social behavioural, and (5) economical variables, discussed below.

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