Is your infertility toxic?
When considering the cause of infertility, it is unlikely that you think of things you do daily. It is more likely to consider major events such as episode of mumps or an irregular menstrual cycle. Yet there are mundane daily activities which can diminish fertility that you may be unaware of.
Most of us are well aware of what is poisonous. Certain products, if ingested, can cause serious illness or even death. Naturally we avoid these, to preserve life.
But there is another form of poisoning, which is caused by accumulation, often referred to as toxic load. When it comes to toxic load there is rarely unexpected serious illness or death but there is often impaired fertility. Toxins enter the body through 3 main avenues.
- Ingestion – through food and drink, including medicines !
- Inhalation – through the airways
- Absorption – through the skin
The human liver has a series of detox pathways and, depending on which toxin it is, it will be broken down in one or more of those pathways, using a specific combination of nutrients (more on nutrients in another blog).
Not just the food, but everything that came with it from the farm until it got on your fork. That may include pesticides, fertilizers, additives, processing methods, packaging, anti nutrients and cooking methods. Burnt food has it’s own particular toxins. Even chewing gum. It may seem that gum is not ingested as it isn’t swallowed, but the chewing process itself renders the ingredients from the gum and it is consumed with the saliva.
Water can be another source of toxins, often containing halogens such as fluoride and chlorine, which may affect thyroid function. Reboiling water in the kettle, even if the water has been filtered, can condense some minerals, always better to boil a fresh draw of water.
The obvious inhaled toxins may be smoking and pollution, but there are plenty more. There is a wide variety of household products in daily use that contain phthlates, a known endocrine disruptor which has been shown to interfere with embryo implantation and increase the risk of miscarriage. So where do phthlates occur in daily life? – in anything that contains ‘fragrance’. Scented candles, wands, plugins and car fresheners plus a variety of personal care items such as deodorant.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are another set of airborne toxins found in every home. They include fire retardant treatment of soft furnishings, mattresses and some pillows. You can see how quickly toxic load can accumulate if you are not mindful of what you bring into your home.
Everything that goes onto your skin takes 22 seconds to get into your bloodstream – that’s how nicotine patches work.
Since the Covid pandemic there has been a massive surge in the use of hand sanitizers, but at what cost? Studies have shown the active microbial ingredient, Triclosan, (also found in mouthwash, hand wash and toothpaste), not only affects male and female reproductive health but when exposed during pregnancy or lactation, male offspring fertility may also be impaired.
The ink of till receipts is transferred on via heat onto the paper, the heat from your hands can draw the ink off the receipt and onto your skin. This ink contains Bisphenol A (BPA) a known oestrogen mimicker.
Anyone working in retail will have greater exposure. The detox pathway for xeno oestrogen can be easily overwhelmed, this is an area which should be given plenty of support to maintain efficient function and avoid excess oestrogen build up in the body.
Disposable sanitary products
There has been a lot of innovation in period products in recent times. This is a positive step in reducing toxic load. Reusable products such as moon cups and period pants are not just environmental friendly, they are fertile friendly too. Pristine white disposable tampons and pads contain chlorine bleach, dioxins and sometimes phthlates too. Given where they are worn, those toxins are absorbed directly into the reproductive area.
Yes, yet another daily use product, containing endocrine disrupting chemicals, this time sodium benzoate. This is another type of oestrogen mimicker.
Sodium benzoate is a preservative so it gives the shampoo, shower gel or even flavoured water a longer shelf life.
Before you decide to quit washing and go native, there are solutions to these challenges, alternatives and swaps can be achieved, reducing your toxic load and making more of your nutrients available for baby making. This is all comprehensively covered in the Now Baby Fertility Programmes so you can get pregnant faster.