Many couples (and single people alike) face fertility issues, particularly as hormone-disrupting chemicals remain common in our clothes, food, and general environment. A study earlier in 2017 found that the West may be enduring a "sperm crisis" as sperm counts gradually lower, and that the problem may be partially due to exposure to toxins that interfere with male fertility. But a new study looking at women found that a chemical present in yoga mats could affect fertility, and this chemical is in a lot of other unexpected places, too.
The study has exposed environmental chemicals present in yoga mats and baby products, among other places, as a possible new reason why in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, might fail. IVF is now a firmly familiar part of the fertility world for people who can't easily get pregnant. It was estimated in 2014 that 61,740 babies, or 1-2 percent of every live birth in the US, were born in 2012 after using IVF technology. The technology has come a long way since the birth of the first IVF baby in 1978. But beyond the success stories, there are many situations in which IVF can fail, leaving heartbreak and difficulty behind. People undergoing IVF, and women attempting to get pregnant more generally, may be risking their fertility due to the influence of environmental chemicals — and the new science seems to indicate that this is a serious problem.