Although regulatory agencies continue to debate the impact that chemical compounds have upon our health; endocrinologists and healthcare providers express growing concern about their impact. Currently there are about 80,000 commercially produced chemicals in the USA with about a 1000 new ones added each year. Many of these substances are classified as “hormone disrupting agents because of their ability to trigger hormone imbalance. Yet only about 5% of these have been tested for their impact upon our reproductive function. One of the chemicals that is produced in the largest quantities is the plasticizing agent called Bisphenol A (BPA).
BPA is so pervasive that we’re exposed to it through the foods we eat, the water drink, and the products that we apply to our skin. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 95% of us have measureable levels of this hormone-disrupting chemical in our body. In fact most of us are regularly receiving doses of BPA that are 20 times higher than the Environmental Protection Agencies target of acceptable daily
intake (50 mcg/Kg). This level of BPA exposure has been linked to hormone changes that can promote obesity as well as increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Finally, we’re beginning to understand how BPA can impact fertility in people.
Although it has long been known that this common hormone disrupting agent can impair fertility in animals; there was an absence of studies confirming this in people; until now. A recent study has now confirmed that a majority of women undergoing IVF treatment have measureable levels of BPA in their urine. Worse still, women with higher BPA levels were able to produce fewer eggs that were also of poorer quality. As a fertility specialist that sees a growing number of women with unexplained decline in their ovarian reserve, I recommend that you don’t wait for additional proof. Here are some steps you can begin taking today to reduce any further impact of BPA upon your health and your fertility:
- Switch to BPA free drinking bottles like those with a #5 stamped on them or use either glass or metal instead;
- Purchase soups and foods packaged in cardboard cartons or glass instead of the plastic lined cans;
- Hand wash plastic dishware with mild soap in warm water instead of using dishwashers for these products;
- Don’t place plastic ware in microwave ovens to warm;
- Express your support to companies that are voluntarily phasing out the use of BPA in their products.