How the Environment Affects Fertility and Conception

Can your environment affect your fertility? What everyday chemicals, toxins, foods, and products should you avoid when you are pregnant? Join our guest, Dr. Tracey Woodruff, Director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment at the University of California San Francisco to discuss how the environment affects your fertility and pregnancy.

Hit the Highlights
  • We’ve known for a long time that some occupational exposure to chemicals, radiation, and such can affect fertility, but what many people don’t realize is that we can and are exposed to strong potentially fertility altering chemicals in our everyday life.
  • What potential toxins, chemical, pesticides, herbicides, etc. in our foods should we avoid if we are trying to get pregnant or are pregnant? Are there specific foods or pesticides or herbicides that are used on foods that affect either fertility in both males and females, or can cause women to have trouble carrying a pregnancy to term?
  • What about foods or pesticides or herbicides that can cause birth defects?
  • Should people of child bearing age or who are trying to conceive avoid the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides used on lawns or household gardens? Are these potentially dangerous in the small amount of exposure the typical person would get?
  • Are these chemicals, pesticides, herbicides found in breast milk?
  • What are some of the things we use every day that we don’t recognize as “chemicals’ or “toxins” per se that we should be cautious of. For example, all the personal care products that we use such as shampoos, lotions, makeup, toothpaste, mouthwash, soap
  • How dangerous are Parabens, which are used as a preservative in many cosmetics and personal care products, and Phthalates, which are used to create fragrance in these products, and should avoid them?
  • Are we at risk of exposure to potentially harmful chemicals from everyday products that we use in our homes. By now most of us know that some plastics are potentially dangerous, but what else?
  • Is it primarily hormone disrupting chemicals that we need to be aware of?
  • Where do you find hormone disrupting chemicals?
  • What governmental organization is in charge of protecting us from chemicals and toxins in products we use?
  • Do these chemicals build up in our system? In other words, is the real harm from occasional use or exposure or to repeated exposure?
  • Is there a safe amount of exposure?
  • What would you suggest people do to reduce their exposure to fertility altering chemicals and products?