For the last several years, I have been trying to make my patients and colleagues more aware of the how both the rising rates of infertility and endometriosis may be related to environmental causes. Here is an excerpt from my book PERFECT HORMONE BALANCE FOR FERTILITY (p. 29[G1] ):
An estimated 5 million women in the United States have endometriosis—a painful condition in which tissue from the endometrium travels to the ovary, fallopian tubes, and other surfaces in the pelvis. It also contributes to infertility. Endometriosis researchers have been looking for links between environmental BioMutagens and this condition. The strongest associations have been found with dioxin and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s)—both toxic by-products of manufacturing and waste disposal plants. Studies show that women exposed to these chemicals have a three- to fourfold increased risk of developing endometriosis. Typically exposure occurs through contaminated air and water. This may be the strongest direct link between BioMutagens and a condition known to reduce fertility.
Since the time that my co-author and I published that, even more data has come out supporting this relationship. In a recently published study[G2] , they found concentrations of PCB’s frequently found in the bloodstream of women in the USA were associated with a reduced pregnancy rate in women that were going through IVF. In fact, these women actually had about ½ the pregnancy rate following embryo transfer suggesting that this hormone disrupting chemical may interfere with implantation.
In my opinion, the data is compelling enough. Since there are steps that we can all take to reduce our exposure to these harmful chemicals; it seems reasonable to share this information with couples trying to conceive so that they can make healthier choices like:
- Reducing consumption of animal fats where these chemical tend to accumulate
- Avoid fish/shellfish caught in waters most commonly associated with contamination
- Minimize your exposure to food and water packaged in plastics with the #3, #6 and #7 and instead seek out glass, metal or plastics labeled #1, #2, #4 and #5
- Consider installing a reverse osmosis water filter in your home for drinking/cooking purposes
- Check out my book for more helpful diet/lifestyle tips to reduce your toxin exposure