InfertilityHome is Where the Heart Is. Most of us believe this in one way or another. Our homes are the place where we retreat from the world, spend time with our beloved and should be one of our greatest sources of peace and health. Unfortunately, the modern home is laden with silent enemies, many of which are linked to infertility.

Making changes in your home and lifestyle can be the very thing you need to conceive a healthy and thriving baby. And, just think, the same changes you make to increase your chances of fertility will also increase your baby’s chances of growing up healthy and strong.

7 Causes of Infertility That Live in Your Home “Sweet” Home

  1. The paint on your walls, ceiling, trim, etc. Many mainstream paints, finishes and varnishes contain a chemical called glycol ether. Not only is it toxic, it can disrupt a woman’s natural hormone cycle and also has a negative effect on sperm morphology. Purchase low- and no-VOC paints and finishes for home projects, especially when painting the nursery!
  2. Flame retardant furnishings. The idea was to make you safer by adding flame-retardant chemicals to household furnishings notorious for catching on fire: mattresses, bedding, couches, window curtains, etc. The chemicals used in furnishings made prior to 2004 are harmful to male and female fertility. Even so, we recommend purchasing products made from organic natural fibers just to be safe, and taking common sense precautions to prevent these items from catching on fire.
  3. Laptops. The heat generated from laptops, when used on the male lap, keep scrotal temperature consistently higher than normal. There is a good chance the continuously elevated temperatures can affect sperm count and motility. We recommend using a lap table of some kind to keep the heat away from the proverbial “family jewels.”
  4. Antibacterial soaps. What a hype this trend has been. The active bacterial killer is a chemical called triclosan. It was meant to protect people in healthcare and other related fields who were exposed to more harmful bacteria on a regular basis and who needed to avoid contaminating sterile surfaces and patients with weakened immune systems. Now, a nation of people are using it all day long and, besides causing cancer (most notably human breast cancer!), it has also been linked to infertility. Go back to using good ol’ fashioned, eco-friendly soaps and keep the probiotics around to help your body fight the bad guys.
  5. Unfiltered tap water. Unfortunately, all the chemicals in our soaps, lotions, hair and make-up products that make their way into our drains, combined with the birth control pills and other pharmaceuticals regularly flushed down the toilet, are having a noticeable effect on groundwater and drinking water supplies. This conglomeration of chemicals has a name: Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care as Pollutants (PPCP). It will take time to know the exact effects all this chemical build-up is having in the humans who ingest it all via an unfiltered tap water cocktail. However, we do know it’s causing male fish to have female characteristics. Seems like some pretty clear foreshadowing for us, so we recommend getting a high-quality filter, or buying filtered water in reusable BPA-free containers (See #6) so you aren’t part of the test population when the research results are coming in.
  6. Bisphenol A (BPA). Do you remember in math class, how teachers would have those wrap-around-the-room posters with pi π (3.14) in its full form, and the number just kept going and going? Well, that’s sort what a list of things that contain BPAs look like: plastics, interior lining of canned foods, water bottles, any children’s toys and household products made from synthetic materials that don’t have a BPA-free label, etc. It’s in just about everything. The best way to avoid these nasty, proven endocrine disruptors that reduce a female’s viable egg count and harm male sperm count and motility is to eat as much fresh and unprocessed foods as possible. Go back to the basics when it comes to food packaging. If that isn’t going to happen in your household, make sure every plastic- and plastic-related storage/food container is specifically labeled BPA-free.
  7. Teflon (non-stick) kitchenware. This was one of the greatest inventions ever. All of a sudden, we could all make omelets with the flick of our wrists, just like they do on TV. Then, we noticed it killed parakeets. Oh well, just move the birds in the other room and they’ll be fine. Only, then they noticed that the active non-stick chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), wasn’t so great in humans either. Like BPAs, PFOAs are insidious chemicals; in addition to non-stick pans, it’s often used for canned food linings, fast food wrappers, pizza boxes (we’ll deal with the cheese stuck on the cardboard, thanks anyway!), microwave popcorn bags, and so on. Women who had higher-than normal levels of it in their system often have fertility problems and when they do conceive, their babies are slower to reach key developmental milestones. A cast iron pan with a ceramic lining and a dab of butter or oil will do almost as well, and the only eggs you’ll have to worry about are the ones you’re cooking on the stovetop.

Don’t let your sacred sanctum be the demise of your fertility. Take action to replace potential hazards ASAP. It’s good for you, it’s good for your baby and it’s good for planet earth.

Subscribe to the RRC Blog to learn more about fertility and ways to improve your chances of having a healthy baby.

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Fertility After ChemoThe diagnosis of cancer in any form is traumatic, but it is especially devastating for young girls and women who know that the same chemotherapy needed to save their lives is the very thing that can render them infertile. Fortunately, modern medical innovation has made it possible for women to become pregnant after chemotherapy.

The words “fertility after cancer” are no longer an oxymoron and we encourage all young women who have to undergo chemotherapy to keep the faith! There is hope, and the following information can assist you in creating a plan for your future fertility.

The Basic Facts Regarding Fertility After Chemotherapy

Your chances of conceiving a baby after chemotherapy depend on two things: your age at the time of the treatment and the type of chemotherapy you undergo.

Age: Age matters regardless of whether you have chemotherapy or not. You may have read that the age of a woman’s eggs can alter the outcome of IVF success. This is because the younger the eggs are, the less likely they are to be corrupted by environmental factors and the aging process. Additionally, younger ovaries work better than older ones. Women who have their chemotherapy prior to age 30 have an easier time getting pregnant than those whose treatments occur later on.

Type of treatment. Certain types of chemotherapy treatment are more detrimental than others. The chemotherapy drugs most likely to cause infertility include:

  • Cytoxan (chemical name: cyclophosphamide)
  • Platinol (chemical name: cisplatin
  • Adriamycin (chemical name: doxorubicin)

Additional facts worth considering:

Dosage: Not surprisingly, higher doses of chemotherapy are more likely to cause fertility problems than lower doses.

Cancer treatment and your unborn baby. Rest assured that your cancer treatment should not have any negative ramifications for your unborn child. Research studies have concluded over and over again that children born to cancer survivors are not more likely to get cancer than other children unless the cancer itself is known to be hereditary.

Be Clear About Your Concerns Regarding Fertility and Pregnancy

It is imperative that you are clear with your doctor about your concerns regarding your cancer treatment and fertility. If you are younger than 30 years of age and are unsure as to whether or not you want to get pregnant in the future, you may want to consider your options now so you have the opportunity of becoming pregnant via assisted reproductive technology in the future.

Depending on the type of chemotherapy and the doses you will require, you may want to think about your options in terms of egg or embryo preservation. Schedule a consultation with a fertility specialist in your area to learn more.

  • Freezing your eggs. Egg extraction is a very streamlined process these days. Similar to women who undergo IVF treatments, you will be given a series of hormones that stimulate egg production and release. These eggs will be harvested and frozen for use later on.
  • Freezing embryos. You can also opt to complete the first phase of an IVF treatment by harvesting eggs and fertilizing them with your partner’s sperm to yield embryos. The embryos can be cryogenically frozen for use later on. If you are still able to safely bear children, the embryos can be inserted into your uterus. Otherwise, you can find a surrogate mother who can bring the babies to full-term for you.
  • Freezing ovarian tissue. This is a relatively new technology so the verdict is still out, however there does seem to be some success with removing ovarian tissue, freezing it, and then replacing it post-cancer treatment. You will need to speak with a fertility specialist to determine whether you are a candidate for this type of experimental treatment.

Are you concerned about chemotherapy and its effects on your fertility? Contact RRC and schedule a consultation so we can discuss your options.

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Infertility & Technology – What’s Hurting You

July 1, 2014

The verdict is out on whether or not infertility is on the rise in the United States. However, we know one thing for certain: environmental factors can and are causing adverse effects on both male and female fertility. One of the most logical published correlations is in regards to pesticides or chemicals, as well as [...]

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Men’s Health Month: 5 Ways You Can Improve His Reproductive Health

June 24, 2014

In honor of Men’s Health Month, we wanted to share important health information that applies to the man in your life. A man’s overall well-being is vital to his reproductive health. Poor diet and other lifestyle choices can make or break your ability to have a healthy baby on your own, without the assistance of [...]

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