How Do Environmental Factors Affect Fertility? Here’s What Our Experts Say

How Do Environmental Factors Affect Fertility? Here’s What Our Experts Say

3 Oct 2022 | 3 min Read

Reema Shah

Author | 740 Articles

Multiple factors can interfere with the ability to have a healthy baby and pregnancy. While all the risk factors affecting fertility issues can’t be controlled, one can take steps to manage the lifestyle and environmental factors that contribute to female infertility. So do environmental factors affect fertility? Read on to find out about it as well as the risk factors.

Environmental Factors For Female Infertility

The environment at your home and work environment can affect your reproductive potential. As Community Expert, Dr Pooja Marathe explains, “One might have a few hormonal imbalances which may disrupt the fertility cycle. Plus, the ovulation time may be changed if her periods are not on time.

If one gets exposed to certain substances and toxins, they can affect the ability to conceive or there can be issues like miscarriage or birth defects in your child.

Here are some common environmental toxins and other factors that affect female infertility: 

  • Ethylene oxide, a common chemical found in pesticides and cleaning products for surgical tools when exposed to the expecting mum can lead to miscarriage or birth defects.
  • Dibromochloropropane is another chemical that can be found in pesticides and can lead to ovarian problems, including early menopause.
  • Lead is another chemical that can cause health problems and serious reproductive outcomes including miscarriage and abnormal sperm production.
  • Certain medical treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can alter sperm production and cause ovarian problems.
  • Toxoplasmosis, a parasite found in cat faeces and undercooked meats can cause stillbirths and birth defects in babies.
  • Mercury is another chemical that can cause a baby to be born with brain damage. The baby can also have hearing and vision problems. One of the most common sources of mercury exposure is consuming fish that has high mercury levels.
Diet is one of the major factors affecting fertility and hence one should be mindful of what they eat / Image credit – Canva

There is no evidence that exposure to common sources of electromagnetic field radiation is harmful. As a result, one need not worry about contact with radiation from electric blankets, computer monitors and microwave ovens.

How Do Environmental Factors Affect Fertility and factors affecting fertility
How do environmental factors affect fertility? Yes, plus weight and diet also play a major role / Image credit – Canva

What are some lifestyle factors for infertility?

Community Expert Dr Pooja Marathe says that the three main factors affecting fertility are lifestyle, eating habits and fitness. Along with the environmental factors for female infertility, there are certain lifestyle factors for infertility as well which are-

  • Doing excessive exercise can cause a woman to stop having a menstrual cycle. Hence, reducing the amount of exercise can usually help improve fertility.
  • Uncontrolled stress in a person can also cause infertility. Taking measures to manage stress usually helps with infertility.
  • Smoking, heavy drinking and use of drugs reduce female and male fertility. Hence, stopping these practices can help restore reproductive function.
  • If one dedicates quality time to their fitness, then the person may not have a problem conceiving.
  • A high or low body mass index (BMI) in a person can cause infertility. It can also cause irregular ovulation patterns. Gaining or losing even just 5% of your body weight can help restore ovulation.
  • It is important if the person is making a conscious effort in choosing the right kind of food for their health.

We hope your answer to the question do environmental factors affect fertility has been answered. Consider lifestyle changes if you are trying to conceive.

Cover image credit – Canva



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