Coastal Fertility Specialists and MUSC study how environmental toxins negatively impact fertility

  • Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Coastal Fertility Specialists in conjunction with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Medical University of South Carolina are conducting a groundbreaking study on the impact common environmental contaminants have on the female reproductive system.

Coastal Fertility Specialists’ physicians are partnering with MUSC and NIST researchers at the Hollings Marine Laboratory to examine how common, everyday contaminants from household products such as plastic water bottles, makeup, hairspray, deodorant and other environmental exposures negatively affect female egg quality and quantity. It is the doctors’ belief, based on preliminary human research, and more definitive research performed on animals in the wild, that these contaminants can cause irreversible damage to a woman’s reproductive system.

In fact, award-winning MUSC researcher, Dr. Louis Guillette has conducted compelling studies on the impact of toxic chemicals on the reproductive systems of alligators and other wildlife. His findings show that environmental toxins are responsible for reproductive abnormalities in wildlife living in the waters of Lake Apopka in Florida, where the majority of his research has taken place.

Decreased egg number and decreased egg quality are common causes of infertility and based on some studies may be increasing in incidence. Co-founders of Coastal Fertility Specialists, Dr. Michael Slowey and Dr. John Schnorr are teaming with Dr. Guillette to help expand the scope and breadth of this important reproductive research. Dr. Guillette’s research raised red flags about what potential impacts chemicals may also have on human reproductive health, especially as other researchers have shown that sperm counts have dropped and testicular cancer is on the rise. Guillette’s studies demonstrate that there is a direct link between environmental chemicals and male and female reproductive health.

For this reason, the physicians at Coastal Fertility Specialists are asking for patient volunteers currently undergoing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment. The doctors will take samples of the patient’s blood as well as the fluid around the eggs to test for a variety of environmental toxins including Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. The researchers at MUSC and NIST will then analyze the samples to find out if toxic materials are contained in the fluids.

“There is no doubt that BPA, phthalates and other common environmental contaminants stimulate our hormonal system and impact all of us. Our knowledge in this area is in its infancy and studies such as this have the ability to dramatically improve reproductive health throughout the world. Imagine if we could measure your blood and say, stop drinking out of plastic and stop using hairspray and your reproduction will improve,” says Dr. John Schnorr, reproductive endocrinologist at Coastal Fertility

For more information on the environmental study please contact Holly Clayson at

holly@flaireventsandmarketing.com or 843-412-4894.

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