This sparked a debate and was dismissed by a Contraceptive Research Association, claiming that the excess estrogen observed in men is due to plastic (xenoestrogens which behave in the body like the real estrogens) and meat and not due to the pill. And while the meat and plastic argument is also true, what’s interesting to note (the ongoing war between religion and science aside) is that there is some truth to the theory of urine being a cause of male infertility. This is despite the fact that the Contraceptive Research Association, would be expected to have a biased view on this as the contraceptive industry stands to lose a lot of money if women stopped using the pill.
So Can The Cause of Male Infertility Really Be The Pill? And if so how is this possible?
The short answer is, yes. It’s a known fact that residues of drugs such as antibiotics, antidepressants, birth control pills, seizure medication, cholesterol-lowering drugs, cancer treatment drugs, tranquilizers and pain killers can be found in our water supplies. Aquatic life was the first to show the negative effects of these drug residues entering the water. In some fish and animals drinking from contaminated water, the cause of male infertility, malformations and other diseases could be observed.
How have the drugs ended up in our water?
It is estimated that more than 40 percent of the American population is taking at least one prescription drug, and one in every six people take three or more prescription drugs. When you ingest a drug, the degree to which your body will be able to absorb the drug depends on the bioavailability of the drug, your digestive system, your diet, the time of day when the drug was taken, your liver function, and any interaction with herbs, supplements and other drugs you are currently taking.
If you take all of this into account, you can see how it is possible for the drug not to be fully metabolized by the body, and this invariably leads to some drug being excreted via urine and faeces.
Once flushed down the toilet, the waste ends up in water collectors, where the water is purified and filtered before it’s released again into the rivers, lakes, oceans and our watersheds from which your tap water comes from. Although the filters used can filter out some bacteria and pathogens (the rest is controlled with chlorine and other chemicals added to our water supplies), they can’t filter out very small particles such as drug residues.
If you drink unfiltered tap water, you are most likely exposed to the host of these drug and chemical residues. If you drink bottled water from plastic bottles, the xenoestrogens from the plastic are leaching into your water and getting into your system.
How can hormones from the pill be a cause of male infertility problems?
Estrogen directly affects testosterone production and can be a cause of male infertility. It can inhibit some enzymes in testosterone synthesis. Testosterone is a crucial steroid hormone involved among others in production of sperm. Inadequate levels of testosterone can lead to poor sperm production, poor sperm quality and consequently a cause of male infertility problems. Men should be mindful of exogenous (outside) sources of estrogen just as women should.
So What Can You Do?
As you’ve just discovered there is a link between the cause of male infertility and oral contraceptive residues in drinking water. What are your views? Are you on the pill? Would you consider other options to taking the pill? Are you using a water filter? I’d love to hear your thoughts on anything which might be a cause of male infertility!
Pharmaceuticals in our water supplies, http://ag.arizona.edu
More than 40 percent of americans on prescription drugs, St. Petersburg Times
The pill causes male infertility, L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s official newspaper
Iva Keene is co-founder, creator and award-winning author of the NFP Program and director of Natural-Fertility-Prescription.com. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Health Science in Naturopathy and a Master Degree in Reproductive Medicine. She has been a qualified and internationally accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 15 years. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva’s articles, videos, guides, and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols, and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments, and integrative reproductive health.