Men’s exposure to chemicals can delay conception, new study reveals

We all know women are inundated with information on what not to eat, drink, breathe and touch when trying to have a baby and then throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. Now a new study has some strong advice for men too.

A US study found a man’s exposure to certain chemicals such as heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants and phthalates can be a bigger barrier to a couple trying to conceive than the amounts of those chemicals found in women.

The study highlighted the importance of helping dads as well as mums avoid harmful chemicals from getting in the way of healthy fertility and pregnancies, Healthy Child reports.

Some tips include;

  • Filter water and check the home for old paint to stop exposure to lead, as it is unsafe at any level for fetuses and children.
  • To avoid Phthalates – industrial chemicals used in plastics, solvents and artificial fragrances linked to male reproductive problems and birth defects – don’t store or microwave food in plastic, choose wooden toys for your children and skip products with artificial fragrances.
  • Cut back on red meat, trim away fat from red meat and fish and choose fresh or wild-caught salmon instead of farmed to avoid PCBs – considered probable human carcinogens by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

healthy pregnant belly sl fb

Researchers at the Eunice Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development tracked 501 couples for a year who were trying to conceive to investigate the link between environmental chemicals and fertility. They noted factors such as miscarriages, infertility, birth-size and time taken to conceive.

Also drawing on data from the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) Study, the research team led by Germaine Buck Louis published their full findings in the April edition of the journal Andrology.

Taking blood and urine samples from both partners, researchers measured the level of certain chemicals and found male exposures were linked to as high as a 30 per cent reduction in “couple fecundity” (a couple’s reproductive rate) when looking at the amount of time taken for them to conceive.

Causing most concern was men’s exposure to lead, benzophenones, PCB’s and phthalates, previously found to cause poorer sperm quality.

Just as men aren’t often the main focus in fertility, the same can be said throughout pregnancy, baby’s arrival and beyond. A study recently revealed the astonishing facts and figures behind fathers and postnatal depression.

(via Healthy Child)

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