Last time I was with you, we laid the foundation for a discussion about electromagnetic frequencies by defining terms and recognizing connections. If you need a refresher or just missed it, check it out here in order to recap before we move on. I’ll wait.
At the end of my last post, I stated that we would move on to explore the affects of EMFs on fertility. According to a survey done in 2010 by the Center for Disease Control, infertility had not changed much or had actually declined a little from 1982 to 2010,1 yet it seems as though infertility has reached unmatched proportions. Why the seeming increase in infertility when the actual numbers suggest otherwise? Dr. Deborah Smith, in her article discussing this CDC survey, suggests this apparent contradiction is due to “increased openness about infertility.”1 Basically, though approximately the same or less amount of women experience infertility, society no longer requires infertility issues to be shamefully concealed in the privates lives of those suffering from it. Through blog posts and social media, women are more open about discussing this painful process to find help and healing. More fertility treatment options are available, and even celebrities popularize the conversation about “the use of fertility therapy, donor eggs and donor sperm to conceive.”1
How does EMF exposure connect with infertility?
If EMF exposure has increased significantly in the last thirty years but infertility hasn’t, how can I possibly suggest a link between the two? Let’s dig a little deeper.
Multiple sources reference “unexplained infertility.” In the midst of these unexplainable problems, could EMF exposure be hiding as a cause? One article from the UK, written by Dr. Rosemary Leonard, states that “male factors now account for 30% of fertility problems.” 2 She goes on to explain that male sperm counts have fallen by 50% in the last 60 years, and while experts attributed this statistic to environmental chemicals,2 I couldn’t help but wonder about other environmental toxins, aka EMFs, and their affect on sperm count. So, I pressed on in my research to discover how EMFs affect the body in regards to the reproductive system and, consequently, fertility.
During my research, I continually encountered the term oxidative stress and its correlation to EMF exposure and infertility. In order to understand the scope of impact EMFs have on our reproductive system, we must also understand oxidative stress, free radicals, antioxidants, and everything that goes with it. Maybe, if you’re like me, you’ve heard all those terms before, but your extent of knowledge is, “Free radicals bad. Antioxidants good. Stress bad. Eat vegetables with antioxidants so you don’t get cancer.” On that note, let’s jump into more definitions. After all, knowledge is power!
The battle in our bodies
Oxidative stress is an “imbalance between production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their after effects through neutralization by antioxidants.”3 All that’s saying is that there are these bad guys called free radicals and our body’s defense against these bad guys is antioxidants. If the free radicals overpower or outnumber the good guys, the antioxidants, then the antioxidants can’t prevent the harmful effects of the free radicals. This is when oxidative stress occurs.
What is a free radical?
Antioxidants and free radicals have everything to do with electrons. A free radical is “an oxygen containing molecule that has one or more unpaired electron,”3 meaning it’s unstable and extremely reactive. This is dangerous to our bodies because a free radical can then chemically interact with parts of our cellular structure, stealing an electron from our DNA or protein, etc., in order to stabilize itself. Of course, because it’s now missing an electron, that destabilized cellular component will then steal an electron from another molecule and a chain reaction begins.3
Antioxidants “prevent these reactions by donating an electron to the free radicals without becoming destabilized themselves.”3 They’re like super heroes for our bodies.
When we don’t have enough antioxidants, free radicals can take over unchecked, and oxidative stress occurs. Oxidative stress can lead to Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, gene mutations, cancers, heart failures,3 and yes, impairment on the reproductive system.4
In my next post, we will follow this discovery through, looking at findings that connect oxidative stress and infertility and what EMFs have to do with all of this. For now, though, eat your broccoli and tomatoes (both high in antioxidants), put down your electronics, and, if you are in the Houston, TX area, come see a FREE pre-screening of a documentary called Generation Zapped on March 10th. There are two showings—one at 10:00 am and one at 2:30 pm. Find out more information and RSVP here (https://www.facebook.com/events/249840315557380/).
- Smith, Dr. Deborah. “Is infertility on the rise?” http://www.winfertility.com/infertility-on-rise/
- Leondary, Dr. Rosemary. “Infertility is a rising problem.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4243/Infertility-rising-problem.html
- Mandal, Dr. Ananya. “What is Oxidative Stress?” https://www.news-medical.net/health/what-is-oxidative-stress.aspx
- Burrell, Lloyd. “Can Cell Phones Cause Female Infertility?” https://www.electricsense.com/13315/cell-phones-female-infertility/