Fertility problems have many causes – some that can be controlled and some that can’t. Smoking habits, being overweight and poor diet are things that, with some effort, can be controlled. Infertility can also have environmental causes, and many of these can also be eliminated or at least mitigated. If you’re experiencing fertility problems, take a close look at the environment you live and work in to be sure you are not exposing yourself to harmful elements.
In the case of men, overexposure to things like toxins, chemicals and even heat can reduce sperm production or sperm function. Specific causes include:
Industrial chemical: Extended exposure to industrial chemicals such as benzenes, toluene, and xylene is harmful. Likewise, exposure to pesticides, herbicides, organic solvents, painting materials and lead can also contribute to low sperm counts.
Heavy metal exposure: Exposure to lead or other heavy metals can cause infertility.
Radiation or X-rays: Exposure to radiation can reduce sperm production, and high doses of radiation can cause a permanent reduction in sperm production.
Overheating the testicles: Elevated temperatures – such as those experienced in a sauna or hot tub – can temporarily impair sperm production and function. It’s also believed that tight clothing, working on a laptop, biking or just sitting for an extended period of time can increase the temperature in the scrotum and reduce sperm production.
In women, synthetic chemicals and environmental contaminants such as lead can lead to irregularities in menstruation, ovulation, and embryonic development.3 Exposure to radiation, even through simple x-rays, can cause fertility problems. Exposure to heavy electromagnetic or microwave emissions can also have a negative impact on female fertility.
If you are concerned that the environment you live or work in may be affecting your fertility, discuss this with a doctor or a fertility specialist. If environmental factors are having a negative impact on your ability to conceive, they will likely also have a negative impact on your general health.