Soy Milk Baby Formula May Affect Future Fertility
The debate over whether to give a baby formula or mother’s milk, and what kind of formula is best, has been going on since infant feeding options became popular in the 1950’s. Worldwide, and certainly endorsed by the World Health Organisation, is the general agreement that breast milk is the best possible start in life. But many women due to their personal circumstance, or individual choice, prefer formulas based on dairy or soy milk. It is the latter that is causing concern as new research has been reported in a paper published at the beginning of May in Biology of Reproduction. The research is in the early stages and is based on a study with mice, but does throw up a worrying possibility of soy products are a regular part of a woman’s diet.
Soy is oestrogenic in nature and the results suggest that exposure to estrogenic chemicals in the womb or during childhood has the potential to affect a woman’s fertility as an adult and possibly providing insight into some cases of unexplained female infertility.
We are already aware that neonatal exposure to plant estrogens or other environmental estrogens may have long- term effects on adult female reproductive health. Wendy N. Jefferson, at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), has previously demonstrated that neonatal exposure to plant estrogens results in complete infertility in female adult mice.
Causes of infertility included failure to ovulate, a reduced ability to support embryo development before implantation, and failure of the uterus to support effective implantation. The new research indicates that changes can be seen that led to harmfully altered immune responses which would likely contribute to infertility.
What Can You Do?
If you are a soy milk fan, and for health reasons cannot switch, there are other milks available such as goat or sheep and rice and almond milks can be found in health stores.
However, the most important thing when dealing with fertility is to ensure hormone balance, and in particular that good levels of progesterone are present. To ensure a viable pregnancy has the best possible start supplementation with bioidentical natural progesterone cream is recommended before conception.
It is suggested you continue to use it up until the end of the first trimester – unless you have a history of miscarriage in which case it is recommended you continue up to week 36 when your own body’s progesterone levels will be well established.