Reproductive Health and Toxics in the Enviroment

by One More Soul Staff


ACOG-logoThe American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) urged gynecologists to ask for changes in government policies to identify and reduce exposure to toxic environmental agents. The joint committee of ACOG and ASRM warn of toxic chemicals in the environment that lead to infertility, adverse effects in pregnancy, and many other long term health problems. However, these organizations promote the use of hormonal contraceptives such as the pill, which has been classified a Group I carcinogen.

Jeanne A. Conry, MD, PhD, ACOG’s president said: “Legislators should require the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States and industry to define and estimate the risks for pregnant women, infants and children with exposure to chemicals and act to protect the most vulnerable populations.” There is a great concern about chemicals in the environment; however, ACOG promotes the use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), IUDs and contraceptive implants with high doses of steroids for women and adolescents girls.

It is known that exposure to toxic environmental agents can cause miscarriage and stillbirth. Similarly, hormonal contraceptives change the uterine lining (endometrium) creating a hostile environment for a newly created human being. The newly conceived baby can’t implant and is aborted.

There is scientific evidence showing that exposure to toxic environmental agents before conception and during pregnancy can have significant and lasting effects on reproductive health. “For example, pesticide exposure in men is associated with poor semen quality, infertility and prostate cancer,” said Linda C. Giudice, MD, PhD, president of the ASRM. Similarly, recent studies have observed the feminization and decreased fertility in aquatic animals due to the presence of estrogenic compounds in the water, some from wastewater contaminated with oral contraceptives. There is a possibility that exposure to oral contraceptives in drinking water contributes to the recent increase in the problems of human reproduction.

“As reproductive health care specialists, we are uniquely positioned to help prevent prenatal exposure to toxic environmental agents and to educate our patients on how to avoid them in the home, in the community and at work,” said Dr Giudice.

We hope these organizations of specialists who know about the health risks with exposure to toxic substances in the environment could realize that hormonal contraceptives are toxic, and doctors prescribe them to women, even teenagers, not only causing effects long and short term, but also doing damage to the environment.


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