Pollution Affecting Fertility

Pollution Affecting Fertility

By: Dr. Warija Seth, M.D. (Obstetrics & Gynaecology)/ Sr. Associate Editor-ICN

LUCKNOW: Human evolution is the result of valuable qualities like empathy, sympathy, compassion and wit. Man changed his nature from nomad to stationary living. During the course of evolution man developed interdependent communities. They indulged in trade, excessive accumulation of wealth. Indulgence in pleasure and selfish behaviour has risen the rivalry among themselves.

If we examine the swarmed and cramped cities of today, the nimble human is lost somewhere and a scowl, shrugged man looking for sudden thrust to raise oneself and amplify easy attainable wealth without hesitating to push their brothers to rear somewhere. This startling truth should be conveyed to today’s generation loudly.A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that human reproductive capacities are also under strain.

In developed and developing countries air pollution, stress, nutrition, and chemicals in personal care and household cleaning products, in industrial waste and pesticides; and nearly ubiquitous plastics are of concern.

Preconceptual, periconceptual and prenatal exposure to environmental chemicals and their effect on fecundity, pregnancy and developmental outcomes and long term health of exposed individuals ( parents, fetus, neonate) and transgenerationally comprise a growing area of enquiry. Toxic chemicals are currently widely distributed in homes, workplace and communities; contaminated food, water, air and consumer products.

Human gametogenesis, the developing fetus, neonate and adolescent periods are particularly vulnerable developmental ‘windows’ to biological perturbations caused by ambient levels of environmental contaminants. Our understanding of nature and extent of the relationship between fertility and environmental chemicals is rapidly evolving.

Toxins found in food, water, air, house dust, and/or personal care products include- phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), polybrominated diphenylethers (PDEs), perchlorate and some pesticides. These chemicals interfere with the synthesis, secretion, transport, binding, action or elimination of natural hormones in the body that are responsible for cellular homeostasis, reproduction, development, and/or behaviour. These chemicals are thus called ‘ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING CHEMICALS’ (EDCs).

Increasing evidence support EDCs and their role in disruption of male and female reproductive tract during development in utero and increased risk of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Endometriosis’, uterine, fibroids , early puberty, and decreased sperm count and infertility.In fact disruption of ovarian and testicular steroidogenesis and gamete development have been reported with in utero and/ adult exposure to specific EDCs at every step in these processes in mice, rat, lands and humans.

It is increasingly of concern that environmental chemicals are affecting human health, including fertility. Health care professionals and scientists should critically evaluate and collect the evidence to formulate guidelines so as to minimize environmental chemical exposure in our patients, the population at large and generations to come. We must educate ourselves, our communities about potential harms and ways to mitigate them, including policy changes for widespread effect. This is a global challenge best approached by global collaboration to minimize harm and maximize health and well being of all citizens of the world.

Dr. Warija Seth did her M.B.B.S. in 1999 and M.D. in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from LLRM Medical College ,Meerut. As an experienced Gynaecologist to date she has performed numerous obstetrical and gynaecological Surgeries. She is experienced to do laparoscopic surgery (Diagnostic and operative) , genital reconstructive surgery like tuboplasty and vaginoplasty. She has a life vision to treat couples with infertility and help to alleviate their intense emotional sufferings.

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