How do chemicals in our environment negatively affect reproductive health?

UCLA Health
The question of how chemicals in our environment are negatively affecting reproductive health is just beginning to be studied, but the circumstantial evidence is enough to raise concern, according to Janet Pregler, M.D., director of the Iris Cantor-UCLA Women’s Health Center.

For example, Dr. Pregler notes, over the last several decades, sperm counts have declined by as much as 50 percent in industrial regions. Rates of breast, testicular and prostate cancers are up significantly. More young women are reporting difficulty conceiving and maintaining their pregnancies, the rate of premature births is up, and malformations of male reproductive organs are now the second- and third-most-common birth defects. “We don’t really understand why this is happening,” Dr. Pregler says, “but we do have evidence that certain chemicals will cause these problems in animals. It’s clear that research is needed to address potential links between environmental toxins and harmful reproductive effects in humans.”

Continue Learning about Infertility



Infertility may affect women, men or both. Infertility may be considered primary, meaning this is a couple’s first attempt to have a baby; or secondary, in which they aren’t able to conceive after having had one or more children. ...

Learn more form our experts about infertility.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.