Drugstore chains Walgreens and CVS announced they would begin stocking a male infertility test in April, marking the first time men can get an over-the-counter test of their sperm production. Rising rates of male infertility has created a $440 million market for male fertility tests.
Scientists such as Dr. Shanna Swan, Professor and Vice-Chair of Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, have found that chemicals play a role in the increase of male infertility in the population. "There is no question that pesticides reduce sperm count," Swan recently told Global News Canada. "The question is, how much do you need to do the damage?"
Because we now know that chemicals in every day products can lead to low sperm counts, there are simple steps that men can take to avoid them. These include:
1.) Using safer pans: Teflon, the most common non-stick coating, is made from perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). Research shows that men with higher levels of PFCs had fewer normal sperm and lower sperm concentrations. (PFCs are also used in fast food packaging and microwave popcorn bags, so avoid those, as well.)
2.) Avoid contaminated fish: Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) were banned in the US in 1979, but they are so persistent, they are still contaminating our food today. Among other things, they have been linked to decreased sperm quality, sperm DNA damage, and lowered testosterone levels. The highest concentrations are found in animal fats, some farmed fish, and freshwater fish from contaminated waters. Use the Environmental Defense Fund's Seafood Selector to help you choose safer fish.
More from genConnect:
- Protect Your Baby From These Dangerous Products
- 5 Steps to Protect Your Children From Harmful Chemicals
- Supplements for Decreased Libido
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About the Author: Rachel Sarnoff is the Executive Director/CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World, the non-profit that leads the movement to protect children from harmful chemicals.