Below there is a snapshot from three recently published studies. The first, a common household substance impairing male fertility. The second, shows the declining level of sperm quality in young men is on the rise in industralised countries. The final excerpt, NSAID's can stop women ovulating in just 10 days!
Men with higher exposure to the substance DEHP, a so-called phthalate, have lower sperm motility and may therefore experience more difficulties conceiving children, according to a new study from Lund University. Phthalates is an umbrella term for a group of substances based on phthalic acid, some of which are suspected to be endocrine disruptors. Many phthalates are found in soft plastics in our daily surroundings: wallpaper, sandals, Tupperware, drinking bottles, nail polish, perfume, floors, carpets and more.
Since phthalate molecules leak out of plastics, we are exposed to it daily and absorb the chemicals through food, drink, skin contact and inhalation.
"We have studied metabolite levels of the phthalate DEHP (diethylhexyl phthalate) in urine as an indicator of exposure, as well as the semen quality of 300 men between the ages of 18 and 20. The results show that the higher levels the men had, the lower their sperm motility was," says Jonatan Axelsson, researcher at the Department of Laboratory Medicine, Lund University.
Environmental and lifestyle factors are damaging men's reproductive health and may be playing a large role in decreasing fertility rates in industrialized countries, a new study in Physiological Reviews reports.
A team of experts in reproductive medicine from Denmark, Finland and the U.S. reviewed the available population and animal studies on reproductive health.
"I was surprised that we found such poor semen quality among young men ages 20 to 25," says lead researcher Niels Skakkebaek of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. "We found that the average man had more than 90% abnormal sperm. Normally, there would be so many sperm cells that a few abnormal ones would not affect fertility. However, it appears that we are at a tipping point in industrialised countries where poor semen quality is so widespread that we must suspect that it results in low pregnancy rates."
"Since the disorders in male genitals are increasing in a relatively short period of time, genetics cannot explain this development," Skakkebaek says. "There is no doubt that environmental factors are playing a role and that endocrine [hormone]-disrupting chemicals, which have the same effect on animals, are under great suspicion. The exposure that young people are subjected to today can determine not only their own, but also their children's, ability to procreate."
The results of a study recently presented at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2015) show that NSAID's (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen) significantly inhibit ovulation in women with mild musculoskeletal pain. Of the women receiving NSAIDs, only 6.3% (diclofenac), 25% (naproxen) and 27.3%(etoricoxib) ovulated, compared with 100% of the control group.
These findings suggest that readily available non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could have a harmful effect on fertility, and should be used with caution in women wishing to start a family.
"After just 10 days of treatment we saw a significant decrease in progesterone, a hormone essential for ovulation, across all treatment groups, as well as functional cysts in one-third of patients,' said study investigator Professor Sami Salman, Department of Rheumatology, University of Baghdad, Iraq. "These findings show that even short-term use of these popular, over-the-counter drugs could have a significant impact on a women's ability to have children."