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Chemicals in Your Household That May Affect Your Fertility

Chemicals in Your Household That May Affect Your Fertility

Household chemicals that may affect your fertility are found in everyday products. Preconception exposure of environmental toxins can affect the fetus, that becomes the child, that becomes the adult, that becomes the parent that bears the fetus. The exposures of our parents potentially can be ours to bear. Is that even possible? Must we work through our own biologic karma packed on to that of our distant relatives. Well, it is all about the environment. For those who are trying to conceive, there are ways to reduce the risk of harming fertility by adjusting habits and making changes around your home.

How Do Chemicals Affect Your body?

Embryo and fetal development represent an incredibly susceptible and sensitive time where exposure to environmental stressors may have a magnified effect. It represents a susceptibility of great harm and provides an opportunity to learn strategies to minimize harm. In minimizing and reducing harm, there is the potential to safeguard potential, optimize health and developmental health. Perhaps, we have an opportunity to right the wrongs of our past – serious karma reduction.

A blistering 80,000 chemicals are registered in the U.S. They are not all potential or proven carcinogens or reproductive hazards. However, individually and as a class, they are ubiquitous and the degradation and persistence into our soil, water and air may have lasting effects.

Chemicals in Your Household That May Affect Your Fertility

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) include pesticides, components of plastics (BPA), and heavy metals (mercury, lead, cadmium) are found in 90% of the population. The concern for pesticides and EDCs have come into focus recently. Pesticide exposure has been linked to growth restriction, birth defects and childhood cancers. EDCs are a class of chemicals that structurally-resemble hormones and thus compete for hormones binding sites in cells. Examples include BPA, phthalates and PBDEs (polybrominated diethyl ethers) (can liners, microwaved-plastic containers, flame retardants).

The endocrine disruptors do exactly as billed. They can impact: oocyte quality, embryo implantation, fetal development and placentation. Miscarriage, lower birth weight and smaller infant head circumference (suggestive of intrauterine compromise) have all been associated.

Reducing Exposure to Harmful Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)

What to do? It is unreasonable to ask prospective parents to live in a bubble and to cultivate their own foods devoid of the environmental exposures that exist. Mindful and active parts of healthcare is the most effective route currently.

The Environmental Working Group advocates the following individualized steps one can take to reduce exposure and lessen health risks caused by EDCs;

  1. Avoid or minimize the use of bottles and containers made of polycarbonate/hard plastic. Instead, try to use products made of glass, stainless steel or polypropylene;
  2. Do not microwave food in plastic containers as this increases the leaching of chemicals into food;
  3. Avoid or minimize consumption of canned soups and other canned foods during pregnancy;
  4. Ask for dental sealants or composites that are free of BPA;
  5. Avoid handling glossy cash register receipts;
  6. Don’t make major changes to your home during pregnancy because furniture, carpet, vinyl flooring, and other refurnishing materials contain EDCs;
  7. Avoid the use of nonstick pans and other cooking utensils;
  8. Check on the chemical content of your personal care products and cosmetics using the rating system devised by the Environmental Working Group.

Contact Us

At Fertility Centers of New England, many patients come to us because they are struggling with infertility and/or miscarriages. We are here to answer your questions on chemicals in your household that may affect your fertility to what you can do to help your chances of getting pregnant. We are here for you!

If you have more questions, please contact us to schedule your free initial consultation.

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If you have questions about your fertility, please contact us! We are here to help.