While there are people who become pregnant by surprise, hundreds of thousands of couples struggle to get pregnant every year. In fact, only about 15% of couples successfully get pregnant in any given month. What surprising numbers! There are many things to consider with this number including the health of the man, the health of the woman, the timing of attempted conception, stress factors and so much more!
As a family who has made the decision to start trying to get pregnant, you want to do everything you can in your power to conceive, whether that includes getting healthier, praying, and trying all kinds of tips and tricks!
One thing that not many people may think about is the amount of chemicals and toxins they are exposed to and how they can affect your chances of getting pregnant! So, I’ve got some lists of the products to avoid when trying to get pregnant! From the specific types of chemicals and toxins to specific household products, I’m here to share with you what I’ve learned in hopes of helping you on your fertility journey!
This is by no means a comprehensive list of all of the things to avoid and watch out for! Think of this as more of a jumping off point for your own research and understanding of chemicals, toxins, and their effects on fertility.
How Do Chemicals and Toxins in Products Affect Fertility?
There are all kinds of chemicals and toxins out there with all kinds of different affects. From really small rashes to being life threatening, it’s always important to know what chemicals you are putting in and on your body and how they might affect you. In regards to fertility, there is a certain type of chemicals and toxins that can negatively affect and even inhibit your ability to conceive depending on the amount and frequency of use!
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC’s) are especially problematic when trying to get pregnant because they can either block or mimic our reproductive hormones. Frequently using products with EDC’s can minimize egg quality, impact your menstruation cycle and potentially increase your risk of miscarriage if you are able to conceive. Most people are exposed to EDC’s everyday, but it has been found that people struggling with fertility had much higher instances of exposure when tested.
By no means am I sharing this information to scare you! Like I said, these products and chemicals are used on a daily basis and generally have little effect! However, if you are struggling with TTC or are simply looking for ways to improve your chances of conceiving, you may want to try avoiding some of the following!
Household Products to Avoid While Trying to Conceive
Many household products are dangerous for use when mixed with other chemicals and toxins or for other reasons, but there are certain household products that have EDC’s that should probably be avoided if you want your best chance of getting pregnant!
When it comes to air fresheners, a general rule is to beware! Many air fresheners have been found to include a great variety of endocrine disrupting chemicals including: galaxolide, tonalide, and phthalates. The most frustrating part is that these chemicals will not be listed on a label!
Instead of using air fresheners, try using essential oils in essential oil diffusers around your house. It’ll smell just as good without all of the chemicals and toxins that you want to avoid when trying to get pregnant!
Fragrant Cleaners and Detergents
Many products, such as laundry detergents and household cleaners, that have fragrances in the ingredients also have phthalates, an EDC. It is best to steer clear of any hand soaps, detergents, or cleaners that have added fragrance.
I know this may sound a bit excessive, but there are actually a great deal of companies devoted to being fragrant free, phthalate, and paraben free including: Babyganics, Seventh Generation, Free and Clear, and so many more!
Hand sanitizers are another household product that has been known to have many chemicals and toxins including a variety of EDC’s, including parabens. This can be challenging because health is so important and having clean hands is a big part of that!
Whenever possible, it’s always best to wash your hands with fragrance free hand soap and water. However, if that’s not readily available, you may want to try some of the following chemical and toxin free sanitizers:
In general, pesticides are seen as something that is less than good for you, but it is especially important to avoid when trying to get pregnant. Pesticides alone are regarded specifically as an endocrine disrupting chemical, and it’s important to not only avoid using pesticides to get rid of weeds, like Roundup, but also to avoid eating foods that have been sprayed with pesticides!
If you absolutely need to have your yard or garden treated, do not use the product yourself and be sure to stay clear of the area for a while. When eating fresh produce when trying to conceive, it may also be beneficial to purchase organic varieties if your budget allows.
Similar to pesticides, insecticides are regarded as an EDC and are definitely products you should avoid when trying to get pregnant. These products are typically used to rid your house and/or property of annoying little insects.
Again, if insecticides must be used in your home, try and get someone else to use them who is not currently trying to conceive. If this is not feasible for you, there are some toxin-free all natural alternatives such as Eco Defense Home Pest Control. Another way to avoid insecticides in produce it so try purchasing organic varieties.
3 Toxins in Beauty Products to Avoid
(why harmful and link to alternative)
It almost seems like Parabens can be found anywhere in the beauty industry! Moisturizers, face washes, shampoos, conditions, shaving cream, and toothpastes are just a few of the multitudes of products that have been known have parabens. The trouble with parabens is that they are generally absorbed through the skin and essentially pretend to be estrogen, thus tricking your body into becoming hormonally imbalanced.
Here are some paraben-free, conception friendly alternatives:
Like Parabens, Phthalates can also be found in a variety of beauty products including: perfumes, shampoos, lotions, makeup, and more. As with the other listed EDC’s, overexposure to phthalates has been associated with having a negative effect on our hormones, making conception more challenging.
Here are some alternatives that are phthalate free:
Found in a variety of beauty and household products, heavy metals (like lead, arsenic and mercury) are definitely an EDC to watch out for! Unfortunately, labels do not explicitly list heavy metals on the ingredients list. When looking at the ingredient lists from lipsticks to whitening toothpastes, eyeliners or moisturizers, keep an eye out for any of the following: lead acetate, chromium, hydrogenated cottonseed oil, and more. While the use of heavy metals in products has been banned in many countries, it is only restricted and closely regulated in the United States.
Here are some companies devoted to providing clean, toxin and chemical free products:
Stay Away From Products with BPA
Bisphenol A, also known as BPA, is most known for being associated with plastics, but can also be found in the lining of cans. As with all of the other Endocrine Disrupting Inhibitors listed above, BPA’s are associated with affecting your hormones and making it more challenging to conceive if used in great excess.
In general BPA’s are used in plastic containers. Ideally, during pregnancy and while trying to conceive, try and avoid using plastic containers altogether. Instead, use glass alternatives as often as you can! If this isn’t feasible for you, try and find products that explicitly say “BPA free” on them. Even then, make sure that you do not microwave your food or drink in the plastic!
It can be almost overwhelming reading about how readily available all of these toxins and chemicals are in your everyday life! When trying to get pregnant, avoiding certain products may be something that had never occurred to you, and it never made an impact either way. However, these products to avoid when trying to get pregnant may be just what your body needs to better prepare for conception!
The good news is that many of the items listed that are, for example, paraben free, you will find that they are also phthalate and sulfate free. So, if you are looking for product alternatives, search for more natural or organic products and they are less likely to have any of the harmful chemicals and toxins discussed today. Thankfully, now more than ever, companies are devoting more of their resources to learn and make better products. I hope you found this list helpful, and I wish you the best of luck on your TTC journey!
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