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Environmental Risks to Female Fertility

on Oct 12, 2012

by Maureen Stephens, BS, RN

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Environmental Risks to Female Fertility

If you want to have a baby in the near future, be careful what you expose yourself to, as the environment can hide many dangers for your fertility.

In the last decade, a growing number of couples all over the world have been experiencing infertility issues, and looking at the lifestyles we currently lead, that is no surprise. Declining fertility rates in women, in more advanced nations, can be a result of the tendency to postpone child-bearing until later in life when fertility declines naturally as well as a result of obesity (due to poor exercise and an unhealthy diet) which has become one of the modern society’s most common ailment. But there are also environmental risks to women, which can impair their ability to conceive. Following are the 4 most common environmental risks to women. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

Plastic compounds

The two chemical compounds bisphenol A (or BPA) and Phthalate are used in the production of plastic containers, to increase their flexibility and longevity, but the lack of a covalent bond between these agents and the plastics in which they are mixed, means they are easily released into the environment and can lead to phthalate- and BPA-exposure. Phthalates have been shown to change hormone levels, causing infertility and birth defects while BPA was proven dangerous for the neurological growth of infants and children, and can lead to infertility in women. Following a considerable number of reports warning against the use of these chemical agents in the production of plastic containers, they are currently phased out of many products in the US and the European Union.

Secondhand smoke

A study conducted by the Medical Center of University of Rochester on more than 48,000 women, showed that those who were exposed to smoke for over six hours a day, either as children or adults, were up to 68% more likely to experience difficulties conceiving or suffer miscarriages. The chemicals in cigarettes, some of the most well-known environmental risks to women, also increase the risk of abnormalities in fetuses and can be responsible for early menopause or irregular menstrual cycles.

Pesticides

Pesticides have been found to cause health and reproductive problems in people who are exposed to these strong chemicals. Most of us come in contact with pesticides through fruit and vegetables. Studies have shown that the rate of miscarriages in women who live near areas where crops have been treated with pesticides, increases anywhere between 40% and 120%. That is why it is strongly recommended to switch to organic food, in order to avoid exposure to pesticides.

Lead

Lead can be either airborne or solid and can be found in many areas such as around highways or old homes, where the soil is contaminated. Excessive lead in the woman’s body can affect the nervous system of the fetus, causing brain damage.

So, if you want to have a baby in the near future, be careful what you expose yourself to, as the environment can hide many dangers for your fertility!

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Environmental Risks to Female Fertility, 4.9 out of 5 based on 8 ratings

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  5. A Female Fertility Pill That Works

Ms. Stephens has spent over twenty years in the healthcare world, specializing in obstretical and medical/surgical nursing. She joined ConceiveEasy as she has a strong interest in educating and empowering women and promoting fertility awareness.

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  • autumnblues

    I am 25 never been with child an have been having unprotected sex with my boyfriend for six year….should I be worried?

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  • melesa12

    I have had a son 3 years ago
    I am trying to get pregnant again before I turn 30 in December
    I smoke but I also did when I first conceived
    What am I doing wrong and what should I do?

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  • Dr. Christine Lee, MD

    Trying to get pregnant again may not be as easy as the first time. The most common glitch? Aging eggs. Women are born with a finite number of eggs, which can suffer chromosomal damage over time. A defective egg is less likely to be fertilized or, if it is, to result in a viable embryo. This explains why a woman’s fertility starts to dip noticeably when she hits 30, taking a plunge after 35. Also, maternal smoking during pregnancy harms unborn children and includes an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and of pre-term birth and low birth weight leading to increased perinatal morbidity. I recommend seeing your gynecologist to help you with your plans of conceiving and available fertility treatments. Best of luck!

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  • Maureen Stephens, RN

    Getting both you and your partner checked by a fertility specialist would be a good option for you now, especially when you have been trying for several years with no success. In this way, both of you will be evaluated for any fertility issues, after which your doctor will be able to give treatment options appropriate for you. You can also start increasing your chances of getting pregnant by  making healthy lifestyle changes, timing intercourse on fertile days, and staying positive in the process.

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