The European Environment Agency, or EEA, believes that certain household chemicals, makeups, pharmaceuticals, and foods may be resulting in increased incidences of both male infertility as well as female infertility.
The group of potentially harmful products is known collectively as EDCs, or endocrine disrupting chemicals.
EDCs are thought to have harmful effects on the brain, reproductive organs, immune system, and metabolic systems.
These harmful effects may be causing not only an increased need for infertility treatments such as IVF, but also may be the cause of higher rates of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and thyroid cancer.
Some experts also believe that there may be a link between EDCs and autism, attention deficit disorder, and diminished cognitive function in kids.
EEA Executive Director, Jacqueline McGlade, says "Scientific research gathered over the last few decades shows us that endocrine disruption is a real problem, with serious effects on wildlife, and possibly people. It would be prudent to take a precautionary approach to many of these chemicals until their effects are more fully understood."
Female infertility problems specific to EDC effects include endometriosis, fibroids, and polycystic ovarian syndrome, while male infertility problems involve lower quality semen.
Animal research has shown negative effects of EDCs on the reproductive systems of polar bears, oysters, fish, and many others. Both animals and humans seem to be exposed to EDCs in the environment, through water, and also through food.
Researchers point out that detecting specific EDCs’ harmful effects in a study is difficult to do because the overall harmful effect is likely a combination of any number of qualified EDCs.
Find infertilty specialists near you to talk about your concerns regarding this issue.Sources
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.