Toxins and their Effects on Fertility


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The modern world is replete with chemicals and substances which can have an effect on our bodies. These can be everyday chemicals you find in foods and in the air which are generally no cause for concern, or much more dangerous compounds that can have a long lasting effect on your health and fertility. Exposure to these substances, referred to as toxins because of their toxic effect on our bodies, can cause sub- or infertility amongst a range of other physical illnesses.

Every day toxins

Toxins aren’t necessarily expelled from power plants or found in poisonous industrial sludge. In actual fact many of the toxic substances we are most often exposed to are much more mundane, and in fact willingly ingested by many people. Top of the list is smoking, a practice with a well-known and established history of health damage. Over 400 toxins can be found in cigarettes, each linked to cancers, lung diseases, addiction, and infertility. Our reproductive organs, testes in men and ovaries in women, rely on a healthy blood supply to do their job, and the terrible effect cigarette smoke has on your heart and blood vessels impair their function.

Alcohol is another culprit, particularly in the binge drinking culture we hear so much about on the news. It may be odd to think of alcohol as a toxin, but as far as our bodies are concerned it is one, and regularly consuming large quantities of alcohol can lower male sperm count and actually affect your baby’s health if you do manage to conceive. New-borns whose parents didn’t stop consuming alcohol can suffer from defects in the development of their hearts, brains, size, and weight.

Environmental toxins

The world around us is full of potential toxins that can cause infertility. This is a particular area of concern at the moment as thanks to rapid advances in technology in recent years it is hard to gauge how dangerous potential toxins around us can be. These can vary from pesticides and herbicides used in farming to lead and mercury exposure, but more worryingly toxins in consumables like household bleach cleaners, cosmetics, and plastics.

Chemical interactions with toxins can cause severe damage to biological cells like those involved in reproduction, eggs and sperm. That being said it is important to note that drinking from a plastic water bottle isn’t going to make you infertile. While established toxins should be avoided, like those in pesticides and lead, at present few everyday products have been properly linked to fertility. There is a lot of misinformation on the subject that can be found on the internet and within the media, so if you are concerned or uncertain then the best thing to do is consult your doctor or GP and find out what exactly is best for you and your body.


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