Mammal reproduction is quite complex. It is known that females possess a finite number of eggs once they reach sexual maturity. When that number is reduced, or the eggs have lower quality, then the subject has a condition known as “limited reproductive potential.” A recent study suggests that stress may significantly affect female reproduction.
The study conducted on rats consisted in exposing the rodents to different loud noises, such as terrifying screams or white noise. The experiment lasted three weeks, and researchers used a 50-centimeter (19.7 inches) speaker to deliver the noise six hours a day every day, divided into two 3-hour periods in the morning and the other in the afternoon.
However, screaming is not a usual “stressor” used in research.
Common stressors utilized in the chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) and restraint stress model include food deprivation, but these procedures may cause problems that are not necessarily related to stress.
In addition, the traditional CUMS noise was deemed insufficient for stress pressure in this case. Thus, the researchers decided to use the novel scream method. According to the team, the noise was “kindly provided by professor Chen Huang.”
Once the rats had been going through high-stress levels for a determined period, the researchers started analyzing how such a mental state affected the sex hormones, the reproductive capability, and the quality of the eggs.
According to the results, the sound reduced estrogen levels, the hormone responsible for particular growth and reproductive functions and development.
Furthermore, the Anti-Mullerian hormone (produced by the ovaries and has a key role in reproduction) levels also decreased considerably. In addition, the scream also reduced the quantity and quality of eggs, which gave in a result smaller litter in different subjects.
Thus, if you want your pets to be as happy as possible, make sure not to keep them in a noisy environment to prevent them from struggling with reproductive and other problems later.
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