The Link Between Infertility and Common Chemicals in Everyday Products

Guest Blog by Jennifer Hankey:
President Of Organic Baby University

Struggling with infertility is beyond exhausting and mentally draining for couples who are wanting a family and are having a difficult time. And sadly, infertility is becoming more common these days. There are some answers to these rising rates such as older moms, but there are a lot of questions about other reasons that may be causing this terrible struggle for so many. While doctors are just looking for physical reasons such as anatomy and other issues, there is growing awareness and research showing there is so much more to infertility such as mind/body connection, mental health and what we want to discuss further, chemicals that are in our everyday products.

Most women are surprised to hear that this may be a reason contributing to their infertility. Most have no idea how much the world has changed since we were children! Did you know in the last 50 years that over 80,000 new chemicals have been invented and introduced into our environment and bodies? The next thought is that the government MUST be testing these chemicals for safety before allowing them on the market-right? WRONG! Less than 200 of these chemicals have EVER been tested for safety by the anyone! In fact, many of the chemicals that are now being tested are showing definite links to infertility and birth defects! Women do not realize that the average women will expose themselves to around 126 of these chemicals on a daily basis. Your food, personal product, water, and products in your home are not the same as they were 30 years ago.

A good example of the effects of these chemicals on fertility was revealed at a conference involving the Endocrine Society. Researchers at Yale University presented results regarding a study conducted on mice and their exposure to BPA (a chemical that makes plastics hard and shatterproof) and fertility. The researchers injected the pregnant mice with BPA for one week during their pregnancy. When these mice gave birth, “scientists found that the genetic chemistry of female offspring exposed to BPA in the womb had been irrevocably altered”. Specifically, a gene called HOXA10, which is responsible for normal uterine developent and fertility had been altered. These changes were found to be permanent and irreversible. During this same conference, pioneer BPA researcher Frederick Vom Saal, Ph.D., of the University of Missouri-Columbia presented that the estimated the average American was exposed to much higher levels of BPA than is considered “safe” by the US government. Because of this and other research on endocrine disrupting chemicals like BPA, the Endocrine Society issues a statement that these types of chemicals pose a “significant concern to public health“!

Andrea Gore, Ph.D., a University of Texas pharmacology professor, stated there is overwhelming evidence that these endocrine disrupting chemicals are causing a host of problems in the health of humans including fertility problems and cancer. The scientific statement provided by the Endocrine Society “stressed that during critical developmental periods in early life, exposures to even very low levels of endocrine disruptors could have consequences decades later”. So, what that means is we may not even know the real consequences of this exposure in the womb until the child grow up and tries to have children herself, 20 or 30 years later!

This is just one of many new studies linking infertility to everything from BPA in plastics, flame retardants in foam products, chemicals in women’s personal care products and more!

So what does all of this mean anyway? While the current philosophy by the US government when it comes to chemicals is innocent until proven guilty, this should not necessarily be the way you approach chemicals. Many of these chemicals are being linked to serious diseases and conditions like cancer and infertility with real scientific research. While you can’t control what your past exposure to fertility affecting chemicals like BPA, you can control your exposure now and in the future. Reducing exposure may not only help your fertility, but it may have a serious impact on the fertility of your children. It is important to make good choices now for your fertility and know what to chemicals to avoid during pregnancy now for a safe, healthy, pregnancy and a green, organic family. Sounds overwhelming?? It really isn’t! Just simple changes can go a long way to changing your chances of conceiving!

You can go to Organic Baby University and watch our two fun, cartoon-style classes to teach you how to do this! We offer two classes, Organic Pregnancy Class for those struggling with infertility, trying to conceive and pregnant, and Organic Baby Class for later in pregnancy and once the baby is born. We also offer some easy guides and checklists to get started getting rid of those nasty chemicals in your body and getting it ready for conception! You can start with our 12 easy steps guide!

Jennifer Hankey is the president and CEO or Organic Baby University, the only site on the internet dedicated to educating women trying to conceive, pregnant women, and new moms about how and why they need to avoid harmful everyday chemicals with fun, animated videos. You can get more information and watch the videos at

Does BPA Cause Infertility? | Kid Safe Chemicals Interactive Magazine | Environmental Working Group. (n.d.). EWG Home | Environmental Working Group. Retrieved December 6, 2010. Click here to read

“The Mount Sinai Medical Center – Children and Toxic Chemicals.” The Mount Sinai Medical Center – Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Aug. 2011. Click here to read

“About the NTP – National Toxicology Program.” Home – National Toxicology Program. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Aug. 2011. Click here to read

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