Protect your fertility by watching for environmental factors for female infertility
Human reproduction is a complex process, and many factors can interfere with the ability to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. While you can’t control all the risk factors for fertility issues, you can take steps to manage the lifestyle and environmental factors for female infertility. To help, the Austin fertility doctors at Texas Fertility Center (TFC) have compiled information about these risk factors.
What are the environmental factors for female infertility?
Your home and work environment can affect your reproductive potential. If you come into contact with certain substances and toxins, they can affect your ability to conceive or lead to issues like miscarriage or birth defects in your child. Our Austin fertility doctors have outlined some of the most common environmental factors for female infertility.
- Lead can cause health problems and serious reproductive consequences. These include miscarriage and abnormal sperm production.
- Ethylene oxide is a common chemical in pesticides and cleaning products for surgical tools. Exposure to it can lead to miscarriage or birth defects.
- Dibromochloropropane (DBCP) is another chemical found in pesticides that can lead to ovarian problems, including early menopause.
- Certain medical treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can alter sperm production and cause ovarian problems.
- Toxoplasmosis is a parasite found in cat feces and undercooked meats. Although most healthy adults won’t get sick from it, it can cause stillbirths and birth defects in babies.
- Mercury can cause a baby to be born with brain damage or hearing and vision problems. One of the most common sources of exposure is eating fish with high mercury levels. These include shark, swordfish and king mackerel.
Despite what you may have heard, there is no good evidence that exposure to common sources of electromagnetic field radiation is harmful. As a result, you don’t need to worry about contact with radiation from computer monitors, electric blankets and microwave ovens.
What are some lifestyle factors for infertility?
In addition to the environmental factors for female infertility, it’s important to know about lifestyle factors for infertility.
- A low or high body mass index (BMI) can cause infertility and irregular ovulation patterns. However, gaining or losing just 5% of your body weight can restore ovulation.
- Excessive exercise can cause a woman’s body to stop having a menstrual cycle. Reducing the amount of exercise can often help improve fertility.
- Uncontrolled stress appears to be linked to infertility. Researchers aren’t sure why but taking measures to control stress often helps with infertility.
- Smoking, drug use and heavy drinking have been proven to reduce female and male fertility. Thankfully, stopping these behaviors can often restore reproductive function.
Our Austin fertility doctors are experts when it comes to diagnosing and treating the complex causes of infertility. Contact us if you would like to learn more or if you’d like to schedule an appointment to start your journey to parenthood.