Causes of Infertility: Pesticides and Other Chemicals

Exposure to solvents and pesticides could be a reason for a decline in sperm count and quality, and may be valid causes of infertility for men.

Male Infertility Traced to the Womb

Studies show that men in developing countries exhibit more testicular cancer, low sperm count and malformation of the male organs. Research indicates that environmental chemicals that are also found in household products may be the reason for this increase. These chemicals have the capability of disrupting hormones. The chemical phthalate, a common chemical in everyday products, is known to cause deformations in male offspring. Phthalate is found in many consumer products including creams and cosmetics. Women who are pregnant may want to be cautious about using products containing harmful chemicals, as the more exposure to such toxins, the more risk for hormone disruptions.

Reproductive Disorders from TCE

Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a clear highly toxic liquid often found in the metal and auto industry, used as a fumigant, as a solvent to clean electronic components and more. This heavy toxin is a known carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) found in many varnishes, paints, pesticides, rug cleaners and some water sources. Several of these toxins have been linked to testicular cancer. Scientific studies indicate that TCE may play a role with the decline in sperm quantity and quality. Testicles are organ which are vulnerable to the environment and to chemicals. More definite research, however, is necessary to definitively associate the toxin and its consequences with male reproduction. 

Antioxidants to Improve Male Fertility

Fighting against free radicals and improving male fertility includes a diet rich in antioxidants. The most powerful ones include:

  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an important factor for improving sperm, but persons taking blood thinning supplements or aspirin should consult their physician before beginning Vitamin E supplementation.
  • Zinc: A deficiency in zinc may lead to a decline in testosterone and sperm quantity.
  • Co-Enzyme Q-10: Co-Enzyme Q-10 is important to convert energy within the cells of the body. With sperm cells, it not only encourages energy for the cells, but acts as an anti-oxidant to protect sperm from free radicals.
  • Vitamin B-12: Because Vitamin B-12 plays an important part in maintaining healthy cells, it is also beneficial for sperm cells. Medical studies show that Vitamin B-12 may improve both the quality and count of the sperm.
  • Folic Acid: Medical research has linked a deficiency of folic acid to a decrease in male sperm count and fertility.
  • Selenium: Selenium is necessary with the production of sperm cells. A deficiency in selenium can cause male infertility.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps to protect the sperm cells from free radicals.

When the individual is trying to correct causes of infertility, it is important to discuss with a physician before introducing any new supplementation to their diet. Certain medical conditions or medications already in use in combination with new supplementation could cause adverse reactions or complications.

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