The sad reality is that every day toxins are linked to infertility – both female and male. This is not a myth, and it can be stressful for couples coping with an infertility diagnosis because it feels like the world is against you.
The good news is that while you can’t control all of the environmental toxins out there, cleaning up your own home, yard, and lifestyle will reduce your personal levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, toxic metals, and other chemicals known to compromise human fertility and healthy babies.
Here are some tips for reducing the toxins around you.
1. Eat foods grown/raised without herbicides/pesticides/hormones
Organic is a label, and it has merit. However, many of the small, sustainable farms out there don’t have the excess cash to pay for the regulatory checks and certification procedures required to put that label on their goods. So, in addition to “eating organic,” we also recommend using CSA boxes, heading to farmer’s markets, and forging seasonal connections with local farmers/growers who can tell you about their farming practices and whether or not they use harmful chemicals to grow and raise their food.
2. Don’t smoke and stay away from people who do
We’ve known for a long time that smoking was bad for your healthy and fertility. Then we learned that second-hand smoke was equally or potentially more dangerous. Now, studies have proven links between third-hand smoke and human health issues. Those toxic chemicals and carcinogens that cling to jackets, clothes, car seats, furniture, etc., can hurt you too.
3. Replace household cleaners with eco-friendly versions
Not surprisingly, the lion’s share of mainstream cleaning products out there contain toxins known to cause cancer, infertility, and other health issues. Your local dump has a free, household toxin processing center where you can leave them behind.
Then, hit your local grocery store or shop online for eco-friendly alternatives – preferably made by companies who practice sustainable business/production/manufacturing as part of the their business model.
4. Research your health and beauty care stash
Similarly, health and beauty products are laden with toxins unless specified otherwise. Purchase lotions, soaps, cleansers, shampoo/conditioner, makeup, etc., that are paraben- and phthalate-free, and manufactured by eco-conscious companies.
BTW: Many of the harmful chemicals included in these products lower sperm count. If there’s a man in your life contributing sperm to conceive your baby – get him to switch to healthy skincare products, too. Here’s a funny link to inspire him…including information about the harmful chemicals included in most commercial soaps.
Your skin is like a sponge. When you apply toxins, it soaks up toxins – and spreads them throughout your body. We recommend visiting safecosmetics.org’s page sharing the Red List of chemicals you want to avoid in the most common health and beauty care products. As they put it, “You shouldn’t need a Ph.D in chemistry to choose safe cosmetics and personal care products.”
5. Clean out the garage and/or storage sheds
Garages can become a toxic waste dump of half-empty paint cans, car products, paint thinners, lawn/garden products – and so on. Remove paints, stains, or finishes that you won’t use again. Any remaining items should be sealed as tightly as possible to mitigate fumes. Make sure to wear a mask and protect your skin during the process.
If you are willing, add any of the toxic products you currently use on your lawn/garden to the group of toxic housecleaners and dispose of them at your dump. Then, switch over to other, eco-friendly products. If your garage is attached to your house, make sure it’s adequately ventilated. Also, use heavy-duty weather stripping and sealing agents on the door connecting your garage to the house, and seal any noticeable wall cracks, to keep toxic fumes from entering your home.
Reducing the toxins in your daily life is a priority for those who want to optimize fertility treatments, but it’s also essential for the physical wellbeing of yourself, your household occupants and your future children. Contact RRC to learn more about the ways you can optimize your life to support fertility treatment success.