What is BPA?
Bisphenol A is a chemical compound found in everyday plastics. This compound makes plastics durable and increases longevity. BPA is present in most plastic bottles, toiletries, food containers, plastic utensils, and hundreds of other plastic products. Over the years, however, studies have revealed that BPA is harmful to human health. BPA is not fully soluble in water. Therefore, the concern is that the compound can leak into liquids stored over prolonged periods. There are even trace amounts of BPA in tap water.
BPAs and male-factor infertility
Why is there a concern with fertility? BPA exposure is safe in trace amounts. However, even these trace amounts compound over time because of excessive use of everyday products. BPA is an endocrine disruptor and is known as a compound xenoestrogen which are chemicals that mimic estrogen, disrupting the development of sperm cells. The result is lower sperm count, poor sperm health, and difficulty conceiving.
Other lifestyle factors
BPA does have some effect on male-factor infertility. However, there are other major lifestyle factors men should consider. For instance, obesity is a serious health concern as additional weight leads to conditions like infertility. About 1 in 3 men and 2 in 5 adults are overweight. Along with weight, excess alcohol, smoking, and exposure to pesticides, toxins, and metals affect sperm count.
How can you protect your fertility?
Because BPA is present in almost all products, avoiding this compound is near impossible. Yet, men can take steps to reduce exposure. Avoid drinking water from plastic bottles, especially those stored under hot temperatures. Reduce the use of plastic utensils and heating food containers in a microwave. Make lifestyle changes like a healthy diet, exercise, and reduced substance use. Over time, there may be a significant increase in sperm quantity and quality.
Infertility is not the end.
BPA exposure is one of several factors that impact sperm count and quality. Research is ongoing to determine the extent of BPA exposure on sperm health. Men trying to start a family and improve reproductive health must try positive lifestyle changes first. If there is no improvement, see a reproductive specialist. This doctor can find the root cause and recommend treatment, including assisted reproductive technology.