24 Mar How the Environment can Affect Fertility
There are many factors that are believed to affect fertility such as stress, exercise, diet, and weight. What about the environment? It is believed that environmental contaminants may cause infertility by affecting a woman’s menstruation and ovulation (release of eggs). Other factors such as age, stress, poor diet, nutrition, behavior, medication, sports, weight, smoking, alcohol and other problems can contribute to infertility. A man’s sperm can be affected by alcohol, drugs, alcohol, environment, tobacco, medication, radiation or chemotherapy used for cancer treatment.
Studies have shown that although the advancement of technology has made lie easier and much more convenient, the chemicals used may have been robbing us slowly of our fertility. This is especially true for those whose jobs revolve around industrial strength chemicals. There is now increasing evidence that long term low level exposure to chemical substances may produce fertility hazards such as sperm abnormalities, decreased sperm count and repeated miscarriages.
The most astounding finding is that these effects begin as early as in the womb, thus explaining the reason why the growing population has increasing fertility problems especially couples in their 20s.
The most worrying problem is that some of these chemicals are classified as hormone-disrupters, they mimic, block or upset the usual pattern of hormones in the body. Some of these chemicals can masquerade as natural estrogens leading to a high impact and risk for conception, fetal development, maternal and paternal health. Although there are several chemicals that are yet to be confirmed to affect fertility, these are 4 that are regulated on their base on their infringements to conception.
- Lead: exposure to lead can have a negative impact on human fertility, it can cause teratospermias (abnormal sperm) and is thought to be a substance that can cause artificial abortion.
- Medical treatment and materials: repeated exposure to radiation from medical equipment such as x-rays or chemotherapy (used for treatment of cancer) has been shown to affect the reproductive organs such as contributing to sperm and ovarian problems.
- Ethylene Oxide: is a chemical used to sterilize surgical instruments and manufacture pesticides. It has the potential to cause early miscarriages n cause birth defects.
- Dibromochloropropane: this is found in pesticides and may cause ovarian problems such as an early menopause or directly affect infertility.
Although humans are exposed to low doses of biologically active chemicals constantly. They are harmless on their own until it interacts with other chemicals to interfere with conception and fertility. Here are steps on how to reduce exposure to chemicals in the environment:
- Quit smoking and avoid those who smoke to reduce the effects of second-hand smoke
- Contact water authority regarding what is in drinking water. If necessary, filter through the water.
- Reduce fish consumption that are high in mercury. Choose contaminant free fish.
- If possible buy organic food, reduce use of pesticides and herbicides on lawn.
- Look at labels and avoid candy and supplements that contain lead.
- Environmental and occupational factors affecting female fertility. Infertility resources. All your fertility help in one place. http://natural-fertility-info.com/exercise-good-or-bad-for-fertility.html. Accessed 2/5/2017.
- How environmental exposures affect fertility. BabyCenter. http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-environmental-exposures-affect-fertility_10317219.bc?showAll=true. Accessed 2/5/2017.