While chronic exposure to environmental toxins is known to have a wide range of detrimental health effects, research shows that our reproductive health may be especially susceptible to the impact of these chemicals. The field of reproductive toxicology is focused specifically on determining how environmental toxins contribute to the diseases, disorders and conditions that impact the male and female reproductive systems across all stages of life. Research in this area shows that environmental toxins are responsible, at least in part, for reduced fertility, impotence, menstrual disorders, pregnancy complications, low birth weight and infant and child development issues.
When discussing the impact of harmful toxins on fertility, reproductive toxicologists talk most frequently about chemicals known as “endocrine disrupters.” Endocrine disrupters are natural or synthetic chemicals that alter the body’s normal hormonal activity. The endocrine system of the body includes the pancreas, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, ovaries and testes, all of which are responsible for producing hormones that control specific physiological processes in a very precise manner. Learn more about how endocrine disrupting chemicals alter your fertility and endanger your baby.