Some substances found at home or in your workplace could potentially reduce your fertility and harm your fetus once you become pregnant. These environmental toxins can prevent normal growth of the fetus and even cause physical or mental defects.
If you or your partner might be exposed to a potentially harmful substance, take steps to avoid it. Think about your home and workplace. Jobs involving heavy metals such as lead or mercury, chemicals in pesticides, or chemicals used in certain manufacturing (such as painting or printing) processes may be harmful to your fertility. Some of these toxins have been shown to damage sperm. These environmental toxins may also cause problems with the development of your unborn baby's central nervous system.
Jobs that involve a high level of radiation can adversely affect the fertility of men and women. It can also hurt the developing fetus. Try to avoid contact with radiation as you try to conceive and once you become pregnant.
The American College of OB/GYN states that the small amount of radiation that a person receives during a routine chest x-ray will not hurt your fertility or damage the fetus. If you need x-rays for a medical or dental condition, be sure to tell your doctor that you are trying to become pregnant or may already be pregnant. He or she can almost always take precautionary steps to reduce your risk of radiation, such as placing a shield over your abdomen or postponing the x-ray test itself.
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