I’m not one
of those people who yearns for the simpler times of the past. Especially
because women had so much more work to do then—without a dishwasher, a
microwave, and yes, even disposable diapers. (God bless those who use cloth.)
But we pay
a price for modernity, which we are increasingly aware, has toxic consequences.
One of those is our health. Especially our fertility.
for example, that smoking ages the ovaries. “Women who smoke do not conceive as efficiently as
nonsmokers. Infertility rates in both male and female smokers are
about twice the rate of infertility found in nonsmokers. The risk
for fertility problems increases with the number of cigarettes smoked
daily,” according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. Obesity also
affects our fertility, accounting for 6 percent of primary women’s infertility, and most will have a baby if they lose the weight.
about environmental factors that are more out of our control?
If you are
suffering from infertility or worried that you will, here are four ways to
reduce the toxicity in your environment that may negatively impact your chances
of getting pregnant.
Out the Plastic!
“Environmental factors can impact
fertility in a number of ways,” says fertility acupuncturist, Angela Le, L.Ac. “BPAs found
in plastic bottles, food wrappings and metal cans is an endocrine disruptor and
can negatively influence oocyte maturation and increases chances for cell
abnormality,” she said.
So if you were making excuses for all
those plastic water bottles you were using—and contributing to environmental
waste—now’s the time to switch over.
Some of the things that make our lives easier are also harming us.
2. Clean Up
Who knew that the very thing
that makes you more attractive could contribute to toxicity? Parabens, found in
personal care products and pharmaceuticals “have been linked to diminished
ovarian reserve, may contribute to ovarian aging and is an endocrine disruptor,”
So you know
you want to throw out those old, caked-up blushes from the turn of the century,
and that too-red lipstick that screams, “look at me!” Go through all your
makeup, lotions and shampoos and opt for natural products made for pregnant
women. Those certainly will be safe for you.
Some of those things that make
our lives easier are also harming us. Non-stick pans, for example, contain perfluorooctane
sulfonate (PFOS), which when overheated, release into the air and is a
carcinogen. Two manmade pollutants, PFOS
and PFOA, are found in clothing, carpets, food packaging, shampoo, non-stick
cookware, insecticides, fire-fighting foam, and other household products. According
to a UCLA study, women who had a higher concentration of these chemicals in
their blood took a longer time to get pregnant.
“Animal studies have associated both PFOS and PFOA with
increased pregnancy losses and disruption in sex hormone homeostasis and sexual
maturation,” a study in Environmental Health Prospectives found.
There are plenty of cleaning products that are safe, and no
one ever went wrong with a cast-iron pan. And if you’re like me, and love your
non-stick cookware, you can find some that are eco-friendly too.
We can avoid smoking, and second-hand
smoke. We can clean out our homes to the best of our ability. But we can’t
always avoid the environmental hazards around us. The one thing we can do is fix
A recent study found that
genetically modified corn made male rats sterile. So avoid GMO foods like soy
and corn, buy organic meat and produce.
“The world is becoming more toxic and that we have to start to become aware
of how we are how these toxins might affect our fertility,” Ms. Le said.