Household chemical makes pregnancy difficult, study indicates

According to academic work conducted by an environmental and reproductive epidemiologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, exposure to a plasticizing chemical commonly found in household items called phthalateswas associated with a lower probability of pregnancy.

The research was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectivesand the expert also observed a relationship between pre-conception exposure to this substance and changes in women’s reproductive hormones, as well as increased stress and oxidative inflammation.

“Phthalates are ubiquitous endocrine disruptors and we are exposed to them every day,” says lead author Carrie Nobles, assistant professor of environmental health sciences in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences.

The products that most contain these inputs tend to be shampoos, makeup, toys and some medical devices.

The main route of exposure occurs through ingestion of liquids and foods affected by contact with these items.

How do phthalates affect pregnancy?

The entire work involved 1,228 volunteers who were monitored during six menstrual cycles, while they tried to conceive.

On the other hand, women who managed to get pregnant were also monitored during this period.

Consequently, some environmental exposures to phthalates were observed and how this affected the time it took the volunteers to achieve the goal of having a child.

In this way, each menstrual cycle was detailed so that there was good control over the day of ovulation and date of birth. pregnancy.

The analyzes could be carried out thanks to the fact that the human body breaks down phthalates into metabolites, which, in turn, are released in the urine.

20 phthalate metabolites were measured in the samples used in the research, when the participants agreed to participate in the procedures.

It was also discovered that women with higher levels of exposure had high percentages of oxidative stress and inflammation, which, in turn, can cause problems in tissues and organsultimately generating dangerous pathologies.

Finally, volunteers who had more phthalates also had lower levels of estradiol and higher percentages of follicle-stimulating hormone throughout the menstrual cycle.

Both play an extremely important role in ovulation and pregnancy.

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