Flame retardant chemicals: Are they harmful to your fertility?

Flame retardant chemicals could have an impact on IVF treatment, scientists have revealed

The study was conducted at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Clinic and claims to be the first on polyurethane foam, which is found in furniture, gym mats and baby products.

It has claimed that women who have a higher urinary concentrations of a common type of flame retardant known as brominated diphenyl ether were less likely to have an IVF birth than those who have less in their urine.

Scientists said they tested urine samples of 211 women undergoing IVF treatment between 2005 and 2015 and they detected retardants in more than 80 per cent of participants.

According to their research, the women had a 31 per cent less chance of successful implantation than those not exposed to the chemicals,

But professors have warned that the study should be interpreted carefully, as it does not prove a link, but simply states there could be an association.

Prof Allan Pacey, Professor of Andrology, University of Sheffield, said: “On the face of it, this data seems fairly convincing and support the idea that there is a link between a woman’s exposure to these flame retardant chemicals and her chances of getting pregnant. However, the data does not prove it (it only describes an association) and consequently I would urge caution in how this study is interpreted.”

Prof Richard Anderson, Professor of Clinical Reproductive Science, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh, said it gives scientists the firm basis to do further research on the chemicals.

He said: “While this study doesn’t prove that these chemicals are the cause of the lower success rate, it provides a firm basis for further experiments to investigate them.  It also provides strong support for the need to regulate our exposure to chemicals and test their potential impact on fertility.”

Have you rid your house of chemicals when going through IVF treatment? We’d love to hear your views, email tj@ivfbabble.com 

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