Reproductive toxicology is the study and treatment of chemicals and their effects on human reproduction. This may include studies of causes of infertility, effects of certain substances on eggs and sperm, and the potential effects of these substances on offspring. There are many studies showing that chemicals used in food, drugs, and the environment can have a direct impact on reproductive health.
One of the most important aspects of reproductive toxicology is to study the possible effects environmental chemicals and toxins can have on human offspring. Certain birth defects and disorders are now believed to be a direct result of certain chemicals used in many households. Other conditions can also come as a direct result of toxins. An example that has been investigated is the cause of SIDS.
Infants who have died of crib death have been found to have a defect in the brain stem. They have also been found to have lower levels of the hormone serotonin, which controls many aspects of bodily functions. Some researchers look at toxins that can be ingested by the mother during pregnancy as the culprit causing this malformation of the brain stem.
Another focus of reproductive toxicology is on fertility. There is some speculation that environmental chemicals may play a role in the wave of infertility cases. This may be because toxins cause defects in the eggs of the female or sperm from the male, or by causing the mother’s body to become less hospitable to a growing fetus. Studies are also being conducted to determine if there is a connection between certain cancers and other diseases and the use of certain chemicals during pregnancy. Some believe that drugs used by the mother during the vulnerable period of fetal development may expose some people to health problems later.
Researchers also keep track of and study the effects that certain medications have on pregnant women as they arise. This is a challenging task, since a pregnant woman would not voluntarily put her child in Harma’s way for research. This means that researchers must find and document the results of women who took certain medications due to necessity to find out if any adverse effects have occurred. An example is a drug once used for morning sickness that was later discovered to cause infertility in children born of mothers who used it.
By studying reproductive toxicology, researchers may one day be able to help parents prevent certain birth defects, prevent long-term damage to children even after they are born, and help couples who may not otherwise be pregnant have a child of their own. It can also provide insight into the fragile mechanisms of the human body and how it is affected by chemicals in the earliest stages of development.
- By studying reproductive toxicology, scientists may one day be able to help parents prevent certain birth defects.
- Certain malformations are now believed to be a direct result of certain chemicals used in many households.