Last Updated on April 15, 2020
Ladies, this one’s for you. (Men, we care about your health too, so check out this blog to learn more about your own reproductive health).
If you are trying to get pregnant, there can be a lot of risk factors that determine how fertile your body is.
For some, conceiving a child comes easily—accidentally in some cases. For others, the odds might not be in their favor. After doctors visits, cycle tracking, staying healthy, taking vitamins and supplements, and wearing fertility jewelry, many have to resort to medical procedures like artificial insemination or IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) to conceive. Even then, some are not able to carry a child.
As child-bearing seems to become more and more difficult for women around the world, causes of infertility are being more heavily researched.
Many women may not realize the impact that environmental toxins, like EMF radiation, can have on their body and reproductive organs.
Fertility—Or Rather, Infertility in Women
In 1964, the world fertility rate —meaning the total births per woman—was 5. It has been in steady decline since then, and by 2017 total births were down to half that, at 2.4. The U.S. has seen a decrease from 3.7 to 1.8 over that same time period.
Developed countries are getting hit the hardest by dropping fertility rates.
Japan is suffering its biggest population decline, with a record low number of births in 2018. There were 921,000 births to 1.37 million deaths. The Japanese government is even setting up speed-dating events in an effort to help singles find their lifelong partners.
In Canada, the total fertility rate has been below replacement level for over 40 years.
France has long been crowned as the most fertile European country, but for the fourth year in a row, the number of births has decreased.
The Italian government is offering land to families that have a third baby in an effort to increase their birth rate, which is the lowest in Europe.
The global fertility rate is declining in part because the infertility rate is increasing. Infertility means you are unable to conceive after one year (or six months if 35 years or older) of unprotected sex. It is difficult to determine the global infertility rate due to many factors. However, there are estimates that 15% of couples globally experience difficulty conceiving—which is almost 49 million couples.
There could be many reasons for the drop in fertility rates over the last few decades. According to Geeta Nargund, Head of Reproductive Medicine services at St George’s University Hospital, London, environmental factors in urbanization and an urban lifestyle is one of the reasons for the increase in infertility.
Dr. Steven Lindheim, MD, has a similar belief. “When people delay having a family,” Dr. Lindheim explains, “the passing years may include more exposure to environmental toxins.”
Much of the research is establishing a link between a rise in infertility and the prevalence of technology. And all technology emits Electromagnetic Field radiation, or EMF radiation.
EMFs have become one of the most widespread environmental toxins over the last 20 or so years, at around the same period the world experienced a drop in fertility rates. Even if you aren’t using a device, you are still probably exposed in some capacity. WiFi and cell phone service is everywhere these days. Electrosmog is in the air around us, and this toxic radiation could be harming our body’s reproductive systems.
Biological Effects of EMFs
EMF radiation is a form of energy emitted by all electronic devices, and this energy has been found to interfere with our body’s cells. EMF radiation can cause a cellular stress response, which can lead to more concerns, including DNA fragmentation and free radical damage. Other biological effects include cell death (apoptosis) and changes in cell membranes. Watch the video below to learn about different health effects of EMF radiation on the body.
WATCH VIDEO: Biological Health Effects of EMF Radiation
Seeing as EMFs disrupt the body on a cellular level, an increasing number of medical problems are being linked to this form of radiation.
Health concerns range from small changes in your microbiome and different body systems, to more permanent problems. These include cancer, autism and other cognitive disorders, mental health issues, immune disorders and other chronic illnesses. Ongoing research is continuing to uncover the detrimental health impacts of EMFs.
EMFs and Women’s Fertility
There seems to be growing attention focused on EMFs’ proven ability to lower sperm count and sperm motility in men. However, there are very real side effects for women, too.
EMF radiation can alter the biological makeup of cells, disturbing the natural systems within our bodies.
The endocrine system (hormones) and the nervous system controls the reproductive system. Many researchers believe that neuroendocrine changes caused by EMFs are the reason behind hormonal changes. This can lead to infertility in women.
One study looked at how EMF exposure can impact the secreting activity of the pineal gland. Located in the brain, the pineal gland produces melatonin among other hormones. EMFs can suppress the release of Melatonin, most famous for its connection to sleep.
However, when melatonin is altered by EMFs, it has a domino effect that will eventually reach the reproductive system. Melatonin regulates other hormones in the brain, which can affect the production of gonadal sex steroids. This can impair the function of the reproductive system.
Another study found that exposure to certain frequencies will impact follicle growth. Follicles are important because these have the potential to release eggs to be fertilized.
The researchers exposed mice to Extremely Low Frequency EMFs, with wavelengths between 33 and 55 Hz. They concluded that this exposure may affect the female reproductive potential. This would happen by reducing the capacity of the follicles to reach the stage where they release healthy eggs for fertilization.
Other researchers discovered that EMFs accelerate the process of apoptosis in the ovaries of rats. Apoptosis is a form of programmed death of cells that is a normal part of the growth and development of the body. However, due to the acceleration, this may cause morphological damage to the physical cells in the reproductive system. This includes the destruction of the ovarian cortical tissue, luminal epithelium, glandular epithelium, and stromal cells in the uterus and fallopian tubes.
Many studies have shown EMF radiation can cause oxidative stress in cells, which is related to many physiopathological changes in the body. Concerning oxidative changes to the female reproductive system, one study looked at the effects of continuous EMF exposure of 2.45 GHz on female rats.
When exposed to the radiation, the total oxidant stress levels of the cells changed. Oxidative stress can damage cells, cell proteins, and DNA. The study indicated chronic EMF radiation exposure causes physiopathological changes in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterine tissue due to oxidative damage.
While EMFs have been shown to affect a developing baby during pregnancy as discussed in the video below, EMFs have also been shown to affect the initial fertility of women.
WATCH VIDEO: How EMF Radiation Affects Pregnant Women
So while guys should definitely keep their laptops off their laps, ladies should also keep their distance from electronic devices. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to eliminate all sources of EMF radiation in your environment. But, staying mindful and using various EMF reduction strategies can help reduce chronic exposure to Electromagnetic Fields.
How Women Can Protect Themselves from EMFs
- While on the go, carry your phone away from your body when possible. Instead of keeping your cell phone in your bra, or in a pocket right up against your skin, carry it in a purse. A better option is using an EMF-shielding device case or pouch. These block up to 100% of EMF radiation from reaching your body.
- When using your laptop on or near your body, think about using a laptop shield to protect your lap and other parts of your body from EMF radiation.
- When not working at a desk, it’s easy just to relax on the couch with your laptop on your lap. You can cover yourself with a radiation protection blanket, to shield your body from the EMFs emitted from your device, as well as WiFi signals in the room. On the topic of fertility – this is an ideal solution for pregnant women!
- Keep your device in Airplane Mode, or turn off WiFi and Bluetooth connections whenever possible. Even if you are not using these functions, your phone sends out a continuous signal to search for a wireless connection.
- Put your WiFi router on a timer so that automatically turns off every night! You can also use an Ethernet cable at home instead of WiFi to reduce wireless Internet signals.