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The Link Between Male Infertility and Heavy Metals: Uncovered by Our IV Therapy Toronto Clinic


It’s not uncommon for our IV therapy Toronto providers to explain how toxins contribute to male infertility – in fact, sperm quality and quantity can become negatively affected! 

Sperm DNA and production may be hindered when you’ve come in direct contact with pollutants, such as herbicides/pesticides, radiation, industrial chemicals, among others. Heavy metals are also pollutants, and they can be equally harmful to male fertility. 

Heavy metal exposures can obstruct a healthy lifestyle, causing setbacks in sperm attributes. “Adverse environmental factors have a significant impact on semen quality, leading to decreased sperm concentration, total sperm count, motility, viability, and increased abnormal sperm morphology, sperm DNA fragmentation, ultimately causing male infertility,” explains an Environmental Sciences Europe article. 

It only takes small amounts of heavy metals to impair male fertility. As environmental toxins, they could also hinder detoxification pathways, sexual health, and cellular function. The Toronto Functional Medicine Centre uncovers these toxins related to male infertility, and how to elevate sperm health with clinical nutrition, lifestyle modifications, hormonal optimization and functional medicine. 

Heavy metals and their impact on male infertility

  • Cadmium: Exposure to this can contribute to low sperm count and DNA damage in sperm. It also generates harmful oxidative stress, lessens the cellular functioning of sperm, and inflames the testicles. It’s not difficult to be exposed to this dangerous metal, either. “Cadmium is released into the environment during various industrial processes including battery manufacturing and metal smelting, and can be found in tobacco smoke,” explains a Translational Andrology and Urology piece. 
  • Lead: Though many countries have reduced their lead emissions, low amounts in the body over time can impact fertility. In a study on semen from male IVF partners, it was found that excessive lead in their semen prevented sperm from uniting with and fertilizing eggs. The results were unexpected because the male participants had no affiliation or occupations with lead, especially the non-smokers. 
  • Mercury: Mercury exposure can occur from seafood, though dangerous amounts can also lurk in dental compositions, skin-lightening products, and fluorescent light bulbs. According to a systematic review from Reproductive Toxicology, “Increased mercury levels were associated with infertility or subfertility status. … Mercury exposure induced sperm DNA damage and abnormal sperm morphology and motility.”
  • Arsenic: Oxidative stress can trigger cellular damage when there’s a disparity between the amounts of ROS (reactive oxygen species) and the antioxidant defense structure inside your cells. Arsenic from contaminated drinking water is linked to increased oxidative stress, which may impair sperm. “ROS may cause infertility by two mechanisms: (i) damage to the sperm membrane and the reduction in sperm motility, and (ii) damage to sperm DNA,” confirms a Journal of Xenobiotics piece. 

Are you struggling to conceive? If so, consider visiting a functional medicine practitioner to learn how restorative medicine and personalized support can level-up your wellbeing. The Toronto Functional Medicine Centre is accepting new fertility patients right now – learn about our clinical therapies below. 

Recommended Reading: How Do Toxins Affect Female Fertility? Our IV Therapy Toronto Lounge Explains

Seeking help for male reproductive health

At our practice, health conditions are treated according to your unique medical history, lifestyle factors, and environment. A complete diagnostic session (60-90 minutes) will take place to confirm your health status and which functional medicine tests would be suitable. For example, if cadmium is suspected to affect your difficulty in conceiving, a urine heavy metal clearance profile may be advised. This test measures a “snapshot” of the heavy metal toxins in your body.

Once we confirm test results, treatments can be adapted for toxin removal,  promote optimal functioning and to invigorate fertility. After all, removing heavy metals from the body, combined with a healthy diet, hormonal amelioration and exercise, could reduce infertility risks. Here are some examples of treatments: 

  • Chelation therapy: At our clinic, chelation therapy is administered orally or intravenously (IV therapy drips) to eliminate heavy metals from the body. A chelating agent may be prescribed, which is usually in the forms of EDTA, DMPS  or DMSA. When a chelating agent is in the body, it collects the metals and encourages the kidneys to eliminate them via urine. 
  • Intravenous therapy (IV therapy/IV nutrient therapy): This may be considered for administering major antioxidants to clear out toxicities. Beneficial ingredients may be discussed to promote detoxification, such as glutathione or NAD+ IV therapy. If you suffer from malabsorption, this route may be advised because IV nutrients do not impact the digestive tract. Rather, IV drip solutions are inserted into the bloodstream, providing a full absorption of nutrients.
  • Dietary changes: Studies have shown that certain diets that prevent cardiovascular disease and chronic illness may provide beneficial effects for male fertility, too. We may suggest implementing the Mediterranean Diet, which is credited for its high amounts of good fats and antioxidants. 

How we individualize intravenous drips and treatments

Custom health care, when combined with lifestyle modification and nutraceuticals, can address your health concerns related to: a nutritional deficiency, autoimmune conditions, athletic recovery, adrenal function, blood pressure levels, liver detoxification, immune function, chronic fatigue syndrome, brain function, blood sugar levels, and more. 

Based in the Yorkville neighborhood, customized vitamin IV therapy is available in our IV Lounge. We tailor doses of nutrients in line with your biology, lab results (blood tests), and health goals, all according to integrative functional medicine wisdom. If you have inquiries outside of your chief health concerns, don’t hesitate to ask! We carry a plethora of intravenous infusion nutrients, such as a medley of amino acids, vitamin C, vitamin E, glutamic acid, major minerals, Myers Cocktail, and other vital nutrients. 

PLUS: when you become a new patient, you can gain access to our integrative health care. Treatments may combine IV vitamin therapies with acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, Western medicine (allopathic), herbal medicines, bio-identical hormone therapy, and/or other modalities. 

Lifestyle modifications, nutraceuticals and IV therapy from Toronto can boost energy levels and promote optimal health. Discover the benefits of tailored IV treatments – call (416) 968-6961 to book your initial consultation. 

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.


Fouad M. Badr, Ola El-Habit, Chapter 18 – Heavy Metal Toxicity Affecting Fertility and Reproduction of Males,

Editor(s): Suresh C. Sikka, Wayne J.G. Hellstrom, Bioenvironmental Issues Affecting Men’s Reproductive and Sexual Health, Academic Press, 2018, Pages 293-304, ISBN 9780128012994,

Henriques MC, Loureiro S, Fardilha M, et al. Exposure to mercury and human reproductive health: A systematic review. Reprod Toxicol 2019;85:93-103. 10.1016/j.reprotox.2019.02.012

Hernández-Ochoa I, García-Vargas G, López-Carrillo L, et al. Low lead environmental exposure alters semen quality and sperm chromatin condensation in northern Mexico. Reprod Toxicol 2005;20:221-8.

Ikokide EJ, Oyagbemi AA, Oyeyemi MO. Impacts of cadmium on male fertility: Lessons learnt so far. Andrologia. 2022 Oct;54(9):e14516. doi: 10.1111/and.14516. Epub 2022 Jun 28. PMID: 35765120.

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Kim YJ, Kim JM. Arsenic Toxicity in Male Reproduction and Development. Dev Reprod. 2015;19(4):167-180. doi:10.12717/DR.2015.19.4.167

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Kumar, N., Singh, A.K. Impact of environmental factors on human semen quality and male fertility: a narrative review. Environ Sci Eur 34, 6 (2022).

Lead Linked to Male Infertility,” from the WebMD Archives, posted February 6, 2003, viewed on March 2, 2023. 

Montano L, Maugeri A, Volpe MG, Micali S, Mirone V, Mantovani A, Navarra M, Piscopo M. Mediterranean Diet as a Shield against Male Infertility and Cancer Risk Induced by Environmental Pollutants: A Focus on Flavonoids. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2022; 23(3):1568.

Vigeh M, Smith DR, Hsu PC. How does lead induce male infertility?. Iran J Reprod Med. 2011;9(1):1-8.

Zargari F, Rahaman MS, KazemPour R, Hajirostamlou M. Arsenic, Oxidative Stress and Reproductive System. J Xenobiot. 2022;12(3):214-222. Published 2022 Jul 18. doi:10.3390/jox12030016


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