The road to pregnancy can be a happy, joyous time. For others, it can be one of the most trying times of their lives, testing their patience in a roller coaster of emotions. In either scenario, it’s not rare for people to make sure they’re making good choices to be as healthy as possible, helping them to increase their fertility and the likelihood of becoming pregnant.
While everyone is exposed to a number of different chemicals every day, when trying to get pregnant, these chemicals can have a negative impact on overall fertility and conception efforts. What’s even more tricky is that these chemicals aren’t always easily identifiable. Often, they’re lurking in the air, in the items we use on our bodies, and even in our food, all unknowingly. While it’s easy to avoid the toxins that are obvious, some of these hidden compounds can be much more difficult when it comes to steering clear.
There are a number of toxic chemicals that can have a negative impact on conception and fertility, but there are a few that can be particularly harmful and, unfortunately, common throughout our homes and environment. These include:
- Bisphenols (BPA)
You may have heard of BPAs over the years, but not know exactly what they are or where they’re found. Bisphenols are compounds that are used in a variety of plastic products, and often, can even spread into food if it’s stored within a container made with it. BPA is utilized to help with corrosion and/or reactions between containers and food, but has been linked to male impotence, fertility issues, and even heart problems. To avoid BPA, look for plastics that specifically label themselves as “BPA free”, or glass containers.
Parabens are preservatives that are typically an ingredient in a variety of different products, including cosmetics and hair care. They can even be found in foods like jellies, jams, processed vegetables, and pickles. Although parabens are widely present, across a large number of different products and brands, they can be detrimental when it comes to fertility and conception. Parabens have been linked with allergies, breast cancer, rashes, blisters, and when exposed during pregnancy, to infant weight gain that can lead to adulthood obesity.
Although pesticides can be found in places as common as a household garden, they are often used in much larger capacities. Pesticides are used to deter pests from damaging crops, and are often present on foods, like produce, that are purchased from the grocery store. They can also be difficult to get off of produce, as a simple wash with water doesn’t always completely rid fruits and veggies of their traces. Pesticides have been linked with a reduction in fertility, and when a woman is pregnant, have even been thought to lead to miscarriages.
- Heavy Metals
Some examples of heavy metals can include lead, arsenic and aluminum. These can often occur in the air that we breathe, in contaminated foods, household products, and even cigarettes. Studies have shown that too much exposure to these metals can lead to trouble conceiving due to pregnancy delay, reduced sperm count, and even reduced sperm mobility.
Although toxins are found all throughout our world, when trying to conceive a child, it’s important to avoid these as much as possible. While avoiding them completely may not always be an option, by limiting one’s exposure, the chances of negative impacts can be greatly reduced.
When trying to maximize your fertility, there are a number of different ways that one can limit their exposure to these chemicals. These can include quitting smoking, using only filtered water, ensuring your home is free of lead paint, and educating yourself on other dangerous chemicals that could be present throughout your environment.