How Oxidative Stress can Affect Your Reproductive Health + Fertility

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  • – Infertility affects 15% of couples, and the male factor is responsible for 50% of infertility cases 
  • – High oxidative stress can actually impact the male fertility because the sperm is highly vulnerable to oxidative stress because of the lack of antioxidant defense available 
  • – Ways to combat this include reducing your exposure to EMFs, reducing your exposure to toxins, increasing your antioxidant intake, or making other dietary modifications


Oxidative stress is becoming a more relevant topic in today’s day and age, especially for couples struggling with infertility. Oxidative stress occurs when there’s an imbalance of free radicals to antioxidants in the body – which can be caused by a variety of lifestyle, diet and environmental factors. In particular, this excess of free radicals specifically affects the cell structure and integrity, which can be detrimental for hormones with a weak cell structure of lack of antioxidant protection. 

High oxidative stress levels have been linked to negative consequences on the male fertility. This is because the sperm is highly vulnerable to such a condition due to the lack of antioxidant defense, so when the excess attacks its cell membrane, this has an effect on not only the sperm count and quality, but also the sperm DNA. In one study, the net impacts of such oxidative stress included a loss of motility of the sperm, and an impaired ability to meld with the membrane of an oocyte, a cell in the ovary. There is also a collection of data proving that oxidative stress is a leading factor of male infertility – 40% of infertile male in another study were found to exhibit some sort of oxidative stress.

Research also points to the direction that such oxidative stress has damaging effects to female reproductive systems and fertility, however, there seems to be a disparity in the abundance of the available data. Current studies conducted on mice have produced conclusions that heightened oxidative stress led to follicle death in the ovaries, which also affected fertility. However, since animals have different sensitivities to chemical and physical exposures, further research would be beneficial before extrapolating to humans. 

However, despite the rampant effects of oxidative stress, it’s not a condition that can’t be mitigated. Often, major changes in one’s lifestyle can reduce their oxidative stress levels – this could mean reducing your exposure to EMFs, reducing your drug usage, or even making diet modifications by reducing your fats intake. Furthermore, increasing your antioxidants intake can also help reduce your oxidative stress since this would provide the additional defense your body requires to neutralize the existence of excess free radicals

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