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You are here: Home: Blog Posts: Environmental Causes of Female Infertility

Female Fertility
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Environmental Causes of Female Infertility Problems
Exposure to common household chemicals is associated with increased risk of PCOS, endometriosis and recurrent miscarriages. Read study summaries and learn to reduce your exosure.
Fertility clinics are a booming business and sperm banks are filling up. Many women are unable to get pregnant because of health conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome. In addition, recurrent miscarriages are also on the rise. This article may help you understand that by reducing exposure to common household chemicals, you may be able to dramatically reduce health conditions and risk of miscarriage and be able to become pregnant and carry your child full term.
From 1999 to 2006, the latest year for which data is available, the assisted reproductive technology industry tripled to a $4 billion a year sector of our health care industry, according to a report by Bharat Book Bureau, "U.S. Fertility Clinics & Infertility Services: An Industry Analysis". Three conditions, recurrent miscarriages, endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome greatly contribute to a reduced ability for women to become pregnant and carry babies full term. Numerous studies have been undertaken in an effort to determine what is causing the dramatic rise in recurrent miscarriages, endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome which greatly affect female fertility.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance condition in which cysts form on the ovaries. The cysts interfere with ovulation, dramatically reducing the ability to become pregnant. Recent statistics show that 1 in 10 women in the United States and 1 in 15 women world-wide have this condition, leading to a decrease in fertility often requiring medical intervention to achieve pregnancy. Current research shows a connection between increased serum levels of bisphenol A (BPA) and PCOS. It is suspected that the hormonal activity of PBA disrupts the normal hormones of the body - resulting in increased androgen development present in those with PCOS. The most alarming studies to changes in hormonal activity due to chemical exposure in the womb in the development of PCOS. Maternal exposure during pregnancy may be leading to the dramatic rise in this reproductive disorder in the daughters.
Endometriosis is a hormonal imbalance condition in which uterine tissue grows in places other than the uterine lining. The tissue may grow on the ovaries or fallopian tubes, resulting in a blockage causing infertility. In addtion, endometriosis can often lead to miscarriage, or recurrent miscarriage. Again, research indicates that exposure to common household chemicals such as phthalates and bisphenol A that interfere with hormonal activity of the endocrine system are associated with the development of endometriosis - contributing to decreased fertility in women.
Leiomyomata is a hormonal condition in which benign tumors form on the uterus. The fibroids may block the falopian tubes, blocking the release of eggs as well as decreased ability for implanation of the egg on the uterine wall and the potential for a miscarriage. Research shows a direct correlation between high concentrations of endocrine disrupting chemicals in the body with increased occurence of leiomyomata.
Reduced eqq quality is another potential for infertility in women. New studies show that as blood concentrations of bisphenol A increased, there was a corresponding decrease in the quality of the woman's eggs. In addition to causing infertility in the first place, eggs retrieved were also of a very low quality for in-vitro fertilization.
Recurrent miscarriages are on the rise. As shown with PCOS, endometriosis and leiomyomata, these conditions increase the risk of miscarriage. However, even in a healthy woman without any of these hormonal conditions, exposure to environmental chemicals that disrupt hormones, there is a statistically significant rise in miscarriage in direct correlation with serum and urinary concentrations of chemicals such as bisphenol A and phthalates.
Finally, each of the above medical conditions that decrease fertility as well as exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals also interfere with in-vitro fertilization. This further reduces the chances at a successful pregnancy.
While it is impossible to eliminate exposure to phthalates, bisphenol A and parabens, studies show that increased urinary concentrations are associated with increased risk of miscarriages, poycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis. Reducing your exposure will likely improve your ability to conceive and carry a child to term. The article, "Seven Easy Ways to Reduce Chemical Exposure in Daily Life", will give you ways to start reducing your exposure to phthalates, bisphenol A and parabens.
U.S. Fertility Clinics & Infertility Services: An Industry Analysis
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Source: Mayo Clinic
Polycystic Ovary SyndromeSource: Web MD
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: 1 In 15 Women Affected Worldwide And Burden Likely To Increase Source: Science Daily
Endometriosis Source: Medline Plus
Endocrine Disruptors and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Elevated Serum Levels of Bisphenol A in Women with PCOS.
Positive relationship between androgen and the endocrine disruptor, bisphenol A, in normal women and women with ovarian dysfunction.
Assessment of human contamination of estrogenic endocrine-disrupting chemicals and their risk for human reproduction.
Neonatal exposure to bisphenol a and reproductive and endocrine alterations resembling the polycystic ovarian syndrome in adult rats.
Association of exposure to phthalates with endometriosis and uterine leiomyomata: findings from NHANES, 1999-2004.
Association between phthalate exposure and glutathione S-transferase M1 polymorphism in adenomyosis, leiomyoma and endometriosis.
The concept of endocrine disruption and human health.
High plasma concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls and phthalate esters in women with endometriosis: a prospective case control study.
Exposure to bisphenol A is associated with recurrent miscarriage.
Transcriptional biomarkers of steroidogenesis and trophoblast differentiation in the placenta in relation to prenatal phthalate exposure.
Effect of bisphenol A on human endometrial stromal fibroblasts in vitro.
Urinary, Circulating, and Tissue Biomonitoring Studies Indicate Widespread Exposure to Bisphenol A
New study links increased BPA exposure to reduced egg quality in women
Serum unconjugated bisphenol A concentrations in women may adversely influence oocyte quality during in vitro fertilization.