Testosterone is the driving force in men, determining physical structure, brain function, and reproductive health. This hormone is declining in virtually all populations today, giving rise to health conditions including infertility, reduced semen quality and genital malformations in newborns. A certain, balanced amount is even needed for proper development of female anatomy.
For those who struggle internally with conflicting sexual urges, they may wonder if they were born that way. During these times of questioning sexual identity, it’s more important to ask, “What is affecting my balance of hormones?” “What am I eating and drinking, or eating and drinking from, that is causing a shift in my hormones?”
Phthalates affect hormone levels, changing the sexual anatomy of the human body
Hormone production and regulation can be suppressed or altered by certain chemicals like phthalates which are now linked to lower testosterone levels. This testosterone reduction could theoretically cause sexual urges to change, spurring thoughts that conflict with gender identity. Not understanding the changes, one might be confused into thinking that they were made a different way from what their sexual organs indicate.
Some may even take the urges and thoughts and label their entire being around them, creating an alternative sexual identity for themselves. How might gender identities and various sexual fetishes actually be rooted in the health of the human endocrine system and the spectrum of hormones being produced and regulated?
Popular culture is quick to project that, by having different sexual urges, one must have been born that way. These messages urge people to “come out of the closet,” but this closed-minded way of thinking fails to examine an individual’s hormone levels, thought influences and what may be causing a shift in their hormone balance. This stereotyping, black-white mentality fails to recognize the science of the complex endocrine system of the human body and the 84,000 or more EPA-recognized chemicals bombarding it on a daily basis.
Phthalates lower testosterone levels across the board
Some of the chemicals bombarding the endocrine system today are phthalates. Often found in plastic water bottles, PVC plastics and personal care products, phthalates leach into the water and are taken up in the body. Millions of people worldwide drink from plastic bottles, consuming phthalate chemicals that stress hormone production.
A revealing, cross-sectional study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism delved into the issue of hormones and reproductive health. Between 2011 and 2012, 2,208 people participating in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey had their urine tested for phthalates. Afterward, their blood was tested for testosterone levels.
Across the board, from men and women to children, researchers discovered that phthalate exposure decreases testosterone levels in an inverse relationship. The loss of testosterone was even more apparent at specific life stages. Women experienced the greatest drop between ages 40 and 60 when their testosterone levels dropped 10.8 to 24 percent. For boys between the ages of 6 and 12, exposure to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate was linked to a 24 to 34.1 percent drop in testosterone levels.
“While the study’s cross-sectional design limit the conclusions we can draw, our results support the hypothesis that environmental exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as phthalates could be contributing to the trend of declining testosterone and related disorders,” said study author John D. Meeker, MS, ScD, of the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, MI. “With mounting evidence for adverse health effects, individuals and policymakers alike may want to take steps to limit human exposure to the degree possible.”
Strive for good endocrine system health; avoid phthalates and other plasticizer chemicals
Sexuality doesn’t have to be a polarizing issue, and people don’t have to be labeled according to their sexuality. What a person might feel or think should not define who they are, how they are labeled or how they are treated.
People are people, regardless of their sexuality, and all have a tedious system of hormone regulation and production that must be taken care of. For those dealing with various sexual urges, these either can be encouraged or can be dealt with by balancing and maintaining proper endocrine system health.
If more people recognized that chemicals like phthalates are bombarding their hormone levels, then there might be a better understanding as to why people develop differently, including physically, mentally and sexually.
Sources for this article include:
- Father’s Exposure to Phthalates Impact Epigenetic Marks on Sperm DNA
- 5 Reasons Phthalates Should Be Banned Immediately
- Toxins in the environment found to impact male reproductive health
- Chemical poisoning is more common than you think: BPA levels in humans “dramatically underestimated,” warn scientists