Phthalates A Hidden Cause Of Infertility

Oct 15, 2018

Environmental toxins such as phthalates trigger gene variants and are a major hidden cause for why some couples have trouble conceiving. Recent studies by Dr. Grindler have made the link between phthalates and infertility even more conclusive finding environmental toxins such as phthalates can speed up menopause by 2.3 and 15 years! That means if menopause on average takes place around 51 some women could experience it in their late 30s! Phthalates can predispose you to poor egg quality, poor implantation rates, and early menopause.

Another study by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology found that phthalates are linked to implantation failure in couples undergoing IVF. The good news is, at BUMP we can test for environmental toxins and also determine how well your body is at excreting them. Herbal medicine and nutrigenomic therapy combined with lifestyle and dietary changes provide effective management of environmental toxins.

If you’ve been trying to get pregnant naturally for some time and you know you are ovulating, your partner’s sperm is healthy and you got the timing right, but no pregnancy takes place phthalates exposure may be to blame, predisposing you to implantation failure.

What are Phthalates?

They are plasticizers used to make plastic flexible and are also found in many personal care products, perfume, air fresheners, beauty products, building materials, and detergents. They are also xenoestrogens (substances which behave like estrogen once they get into your body). This means they are endocrine disruptors which disrupt your hormones and predispose men and women to infertility, early menopause in women, low sperm counts in men, testicular atrophy and structural abnormality of the male reproductive system.

In addition, Phthalates predispose to estrogen-dependent cancers in men and women, asthma and eczema and rhinitis in children. They are hard to identify as they are often only referred to on the product labels as ‘fragrance’. You can find a detailed description of what environmental substances actually do to your body on a cellular level in the BUMPFertility program. 

How can I confirm I have environmental toxins?

One of the most reliable ways to determine whether environmental toxins may be causing your symptoms is to keep a diary of symptoms. Common symptoms of environmental toxins include irregular ovulation, Premature Ovarian Failure, failed IVF cycles, poor egg or sperm quality, recurrent miscarriage and many more.

In addition, several tests are available to help confirm a environmental toxin diagnosis. 

BUMP offers a broad variety of environmental toxicity testing including organic acid testing. The organic acids test is a simple urine test that looks at biomarkers from various metabolic pathways. These biomarkers give an overview of several major systems in the body and an analysis of nutritional deficiencies in the body. The organic acid test is a nutritional test providing insights into the body’s cellular metabolic processes. Organic acids are metabolic intermediates that are produced in pathways of central energy production, detoxification, neurotransmitter breakdown, or intestinal microbial activity. Marked accumulation of specific organic acids detected in urine often signals a metabolic inhibition or block. The metabolic block may be due to a nutrient deficiency, an inherited enzyme deficit, toxic build-up or drug effect.

The organic acid metabolic and environmental pollutant panel is the most comprehensive assessment in the essence that it covers several major systems in the body looking at all other organic acid profiles.

Other detective work may include:

  • Stool analysis – Which will confirm whether the gut is functioning optimally
  • Liver function testing - to determine ALT and the ability to remove heavy metals
  • Genetic testing – To help establish whether genetic defects (MTHFR) may be contributing

How can Narelle help?

Navigating unexplained infertility alone can be both isolating and confusing, particularly when undertaking IVF. Working with a Naturopath can provide you with the necessary support to pinpoint the issue and work on correcting it.

For more information on managing environmental toxins or if you think you are experiencing symptoms of unexplained infertility, decide to take action to work with us so we can tailor a treatment plan to your own unique needs and ensure the most successful outcome.

** research references available on request.

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