Bisphenol A (BPA)
Definition - What does Bisphenol A (BPA) mean?
Bisphenol A (BPA), is a chemical found in clear plastics. Medical research has determined that exposure to BPA has a direct impact on the health and functioning of male and female reproductive system, and BPA exposure has been proven to cause infertility.
FertilitySmarts explains Bisphenol A (BPA)
BPA is a chemical found in hard, clear plastics. Most often associated with plastic water bottles, BPA is also founding inside the metal lining of food or drink cans or other plastic tools, household goods, or cleaning products.
BPA is considered an endocrine-disruptor. This means that when absorbed in the body, the BPA disrupts the natural hormones, either blocking their production or mimicking their presence. Consequently, the body’s natural functioning is interrupted. The reproduction system is dependent on the functioning and consistency of the endocrine system and hormone secretion. As a result, BPA can severely damage men and women’s sexual reproductive systems.
In men, BPA exposure directly impacts sperm count and sperm quality. Men with high levels of exposure present with lower levels of sperm that is of poor quality, meaning the motility (ability to swim) and morphology (shape) are abnormal.
In women, BPA causes a variety of issues. Exposure to the toxin has been proven to damage the quality of eggs, increase the chances of fetal birth defects, and lead to higher levels of miscarriage.
BPA’s primary danger to women is its ability act like artificial estrogen. The body recognizes the abnormally high levels of the primary sex hormone, and readjusts the sexual reproductive system to adapt, lowering levels of other hormones, and attempting to naturally stop estrogen production. As natural estrogen levels decrease, the woman’s reproductive system comes to a halt, causing drastic hormone imbalances. Additionally, the toxin can impact other reproductive functioning such as puberty and menstruation.
In both men and women, the long-term effects of BPA are still being studied. However, research currently indicates that the damage is irreversible and trans-generational. The best way to avoid BPA-induced health complications is to prevent exposure. However, as of winter 2016, research is continually being conducted on best practice methods, treatments, and further understanding.