Job Exposures That Can Impact Your Fertility & Hormones

Scientists are just now beginning to understand how reproductive hazards affect the female reproductive system. Though most workplace chemicals have not been studied for reproductive effects, there are some known workplace exposures you should be aware of.

Female reproductive hazards can be chemical, physical or other workplace conditions that affect the reproductive health of women and their ability to become pregnant. Your exposure to something hazardous at work does not mean that you will have these health problems. Though studies have found some workplace hazards can affect the reproductive system in women, these effects do not necessarily occur in every worker.

Please remember:

  • This list is not a complete and it is constantly being revised.
  • Do not assume a substance is safe if it is missing from the list.
  • You may or may not experience these health problems after being exposed to hazards at work.

Hazards that can reduce fertility in women

  • cancer treatment drugs, including antineoplastic drugs
  • lead
  • ionizing radiation, including x-rays and gamma rays
  • nitrous oxide (N2O)

Hazards that can disrupt the menstrual cycle and/or sex hormone production

  • a variety of pesticides
  • carbon disulfide (CS2)
  • polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • organic solvents
  • jet fuel
  • shift work

There are also job exposures that are, or may be, hazardous to a baby during pregnancy or while breast feeding. Learn more about these exposures, including infectious agents that can be harmful to the outcome of pregnancies.

What you can do