Physical Therapy

The Silent Threat to Fertility Health

Fertility is precious and deeply personal, and it's only natural to want to protect and optimize it. However, there is a silent threat to fertility health that many people are unaware of: endocrine disruptors. These compounds, found in various everyday products, can have a profound impact on our hormonal balance, potentially jeopardizing our ability to conceive and have healthy pregnancies. In this blog, we will explore the world of endocrine disruptors, how they affect fertility health, and ways to minimize their impact on your reproductive journey.

Set of eco friendly natural cleaning products

How do endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDC) work?

EDC’s are chemicals that disrupt hormone balance by either mimicking or blocking endocrine actions.² The endocrine system plays a crucial role in reproductive health, as it regulates the menstrual cycle, ovulation, and the development of sperm, among other functions. Examples of how disruptive these chemicals are include : ²

  • Pesticides are associated with reduced sex steroid hormone production
  • Heavy metals are associated with decreased mature eggs and uterine fibroids
  • PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyls) are associated with reduced embryo development
  • Parabens are associated with decreased follicle count and shortened menstrual cycles

Where do these chemicals live?

Unfortunately, EDC’s are found in numerous common products and materials that we encounter every day. The biggies include:

  • Plastics (especially in the kitchen)
  • Personal care products
  • Household cleaning products
  • Pesticides

Pay attention to packaging and ingredients. Next time you purchase shampoo, lotion, sunscreen, cleaning product, or plastic containers, be aware of what you grab. Common EDC’s to watch out for include: ¹,²

  • BPA (bisphenonal A) - plastics, food containers, and canned goods
  • Phthalate - cleaning products, personal care products
  • Nonylphenols - laundry detergent, cleaning products, personal hygiene
  • Methylisothiazolinone - wet wipes, makeup remover, personal hygiene products
  • Oxybenzone - sunscreen and personal care products
  • Parabens - makeup, moisturizers, haircare, skin products
  • Fragrance - candles, air fresheners, skin and haircare, cleaning products
  • Triclosan and triclocarban - cleaning products labeled as “antimicrobial”
  • Mercury, lead, arsenic - pesticides

Spa products for home skin care

What happens when we use products with EDC’s?

These products can lead to significant hormone changes disrupting fertility health in males and females. Fertility related issues can include: ²

  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Decreased sperm quality and count
  • Miscarriages
  • Delayed puberty
  • Reduced gestational age
  • Decrease infant weight
  • Decreased pregnancy rates

Protecting Fertility Health from Endocrine Disruptors

While it may be challenging to completely eliminate exposure to endocrine disruptors, there are steps you can take to minimize their impact on your fertility health. Change just one thing at a time! When you run out of shampoo (for example), replace your old shampoo with an endocrine safe version. Here are some endocrine safe products that I use on a daily basis:

Unfortunately, health professionals and scientists are just beginning to understand how disruptive EDC’s are to our health. Science is not quite caught up to all the chemicals pumped into our daily lives. However, being aware of what we do know and understanding the products these chemicals live in is the first step to optimizing fertility health. Whether you're planning to start a family or simply want to safeguard your health, taking proactive measures to reduce exposure to endocrine disruptors is a wise decision for both your current and future well-being. Remember, knowledge and preventive measures are your greatest allies in this silent battle for fertility health.

Hope this was helpful! Feel free to email me at: with any questions you may have!

Ready to book an appointment? Text or call: (208) 996-3421

~ Dr. Alina Wright, PT, DPT

Works Cited

  1. Made Safe Viewpoint: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in the Home.” MADE SAFE a Program of Nontoxic Certified, 26 Aug. 2021,
  2. Rattan, Saniya, et al. “Exposure to endocrine disruptors during adulthood: Consequences for female fertility.” Journal of Endocrinology, vol. 233, no. 3, 2017,