Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Women's Reproductive Health

A Video Discussion With
Tracey Woodruff, Ph.D., M.P.H.

How do endocrine-disrupting chemicals impact women’s reproductive health? In this video, you will learn about how chemical exposures can adversely impact women’s reproductive health and contribute to chronic disease. Additional evidence-based resources will be shared and cited to help you work with patients on prevention strategies.


Increased difficulty in conceiving and maintaining pregnancy is illustrative of recent troubling trends in women’s reproductive health outcomes. Many women are routinely exposed to classes of chemicals, such as pesticides, parabens, phthalates, and per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that have been linked to reproductive health problems. In this video, Tracey Woodruff, PhD, MPH, provides an overview of the links between EDCs and women’s reproductive health outcomes and provides evidence based strategies that you can share with your patients.

Q: What are some potential impacts of EDC exposures on women’s reproductive health?
A: Exposure to EDCs has been linked to reproductive health disorders such as PCOS, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids. Declining pubertal age, increases in aggressive breast cancer in young women, and infertility can also be influenced by chemical exposures.

Q: How strong is the evidence linking chemical exposures to reproductive health disorders?
A: Numerous specialty and professional societies, including the Endocrine Society, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine have issued statements saying there is robust evidence linking exposure to adverse reproductive health outcomes.

Q: How can I help protect my patients?
A: Health professionals can work with patients on prevention strategies such as eating a diet lower on the food chain with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, regular hand washing and not microwaving plastic containers. But this also requires systemic changes, so be engaged and register and vote.

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