Increasing infertility may be linked to household plastics and chemicals


Increasing infertility may be linked to household plastics and chemicals

Experts in Perth Australia have conducted a study which may link household plastics and chemicals such as cleaning products, make up, nail polish, hairspray and perfumes with infertility.

There's been a boom in the number of babies born through IVF and Perth experts are looking at what's behind the growing infertility problem.

One in six couples will need help to conceive, one in 25 children in Australia are born through IVF and one in seven children in Australia are born through in vitro for women 37 years and over.

Experts are putting it down to multiple factors, such as couples waiting until later in life to conceive and increased exposure to pollutants and chemicals.

Perth fertility specialist Professor Roger Hart has conducted an early study which has revealed there may be some common items in the home that is contributing to increased fertility issues.

"There is preliminary data to suggest that exposures to plastics and environmental pollutants can have negative impacts on the egg and the sperm," Prof. Hart revealed.

"Exposure to phthalates which are chemical found in plastics and also make up, of the mother, when we assess their sons sperm counts and testicular size, aged 20 years of age, they're reduced."

The initial research also showed similar impacts to teenage girls, who had smaller ovaries.

Phthalates can be found in cleaning products, make up, nail polish, hairspray and perfumes.

Prof. Hart presented his study to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine last year, urging people to minimise exposure to products with the chemical.

"Exposure to cleaning fluids, minimising the use of make up and hair dye. other chemicals that we perhaps don't think about. Plastics exposure, trying to minimise our exposure to those."

The Perth professor has also been looking into the health of men, which can have a negative impact on the sperm's make up and also count.

He said men need to keep their weight in check, as being overweight lowers testosterone.

"The sperm counts will reduce and also perhaps the damage with the DNA within the sperm which is also really important for the early embryo. It may even effect the risk of the woman to miscarry," he said.

He also found that women who have a partner who smokes will need to have twice as many IVF cycles to conceive.

Article: 28th May 2018