When you want to have a baby, you want to have a baby NOW. You don’t want to wait. You’ve probably already waited long enough, now is the moment and you want it to happen.
That doesn’t mean it will happen right away, but there are so many things you can do to reduce your toxic burden and increase your chances of a successful pregnancy.
When we were struggling with infertility and recurrent miscarriage we did ALL THE THINGS including eliminating all possible exposures to toxins and endocrine disruptors like phthalates, parabents, BPA, pesticides, and volatile organic compounds (VOCS).
After you have decided you are ready to make real, meaningful life changes in order to support your health and fertility, the first step is to reduce the amount of exposure you (and your partner) have to fertility harming toxins.
Toxins and Infertility- How to Reduce Your Exposure!
We are surrounded by endocrine disruptors and other toxins like fire retardants, pesticides, and VOCs, which impair our fertility and are linked to miscarriage. They are in the water we drink, the food we eat, the products we (and the people around us) use, and the material world around us.
While we can never completely escape them in normal life, it is TOTALLY POSSIBLE to very quickly reduce your exposure and drastically reduce the levels of these toxins in your blood.
Studies show that just changing your make-up and eating organic food can change these blood levels quickly.
Read This -> BPA, Phthalates & Infertility
Here is a quick look at some studies:
- A large, multi-ethnic survey showed that eating organic lowers pesticide levels in your blood. (Curl, et.al., 2015)
- Eating an organic diet drops pesticide levels in the bloodstream by 60% after ONE WEEK of an organic diet. (Hyland, et., al, 2019)
- After just three days of using non-toxic cosmetics, teenage girls saw their urinary levels of phthalates drop 27%, and parabens drop 45%! (Harley, et.al, 2016)
And don’t forget endocrine disruptors like phthalates, BPA, pesticides, and parabens are:
- Linked to decreased fertility in women
- Linked to decreased fertility in men
- Linked to miscarriage
- Linked to pregnancy complications
- Linked to cancer
- Linked to intellectual and emotional development complications in children
If you want to get pregnant and stay pregnant, you need to get this stuff out of your life, and get it out quickly!
We’ll start with the most important and work down.
Read This -> My Favorite Non-Toxic Products
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Ten Ways To Reduce Your Toxin Exposure and Boost Your Fertility
- Start Eating Organic. I know it can be pricey, but pesticides wreak havoc on sperm health, female fertility, and are linked to increased chance of miscarriage. If you can’t eat everything organic, use the EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen to prioritize what you buy organic. Here’s how we do this affordably!
- Swap out your cosmetics for non-toxic options. What goes on your body is absorbed quickly into your bloodstream. Throw away your old cosmetics and in three days you’ll have drastically reduced your toxic load. Swap over to my favorite, Beautycounter, which not only has banned all ingredients that are harmful to humans and the planet, but also tests for heavy metals at three stages: raw materials, during processing, and the final product. No other clean cosmetics brand does that. Here is my personal non-toxic beauty routine!
- Filter your drinking water. Unfortunately, endocrine disruptors can be found in our drinking water. It is very hard to filter out phthalates and other endocrine disruptors from drinking water. The best filter I could find in the $400 price range (and not $1000+) that reduced phthalates is the one we use by Pure Effects. Read my full post on filtering water for fertility here.
- Stop using plastic cookware and ditch your plastic coffee maker (that means you, Keurig!). Hot food, oil, and boiling water touching plastic are recipes for phthalates in your food and beverages. We use a glass drip system for coffee, wood or stainless utensils, glass and cast iron bakeware, stainless accessories and glass mixing and measuring bowls. See all my favorite non-toxic kitchen products here!
- Stop eating and drinking from plastic containers. This includes “BPA-free plastics” – they are just as bad. Avoid buying things in plastic whenever you can, avoid soft plastic water bottles like the plague, and never ever microwave plastic or put it in the dishwasher. Throw away your old tupperware and use glass, stainless or ceramic containers. For home storage we use glass pyrex, mason jars, and stainless canisters with cute labels. For water bottles use glass or high quality stainless- our favorites are Lifefactory glass bottles and Klean Kanteen with a stainless top.
- Stop eating anything that comes in a can, and limit the amount of food you eat that is packaged in tetra-paks (the little cardboard containers). Most cans are lined in BPA, but even those that are “BPA-free” are still lined with phthalates. Buy fresh, eat fresh.
- Every week damp-dust and vacuum with a HEPA-filter vacuum. Phthalates live in the dust in our homes. When eliminating dust, you need to make sure you aren’t just pushing it around, or breathing it in. That’s why a HEPA filter vacuum is so important. When buying a HEPA filter vacuum, make sure the details specify that filtration efficiency is at least 99.97% and that particles retained are as small as 0.3 micrometers (formerly microns). Vacuums with HEPA filters do the best job of removing dust particles from your house. We splurged on a Dyson a number of years ago and we still love it. I can’t find the same model on Amazon now, but here is a gorgeous one much like what we bought. Here is Dyson’s statement about dust-removal. For removing dust from wooden furniture, damp dust with old rags or with reuseable cloths, like microfiber dust cloths.
- Wash your bedding weekly. Phthalate-filled dust can accumulate in your bedding where you spend (hopefully) 7-8 hours of every day. Wash your sheets in hot water and a safe non-toxic detergent like this one. Make sure your bedding is certified organic so aren’t exposed to pesticides or other toxins while you sleep! We use Naturepedic pillows and covers, and a variety of organic sheet sets. Some companies that I love for organic sheets include Coyuchi, White Lotus and Sol Organics.
- Sleep on an organic mattress. If you’re sleeping on a traditional mattress, or worse, on a memory foam mattress, you are exposing to flame retardants, VOCs, and other crap like formaldehyde. These are linked to infertility in men and women, and increased risk of miscarriage. We sleep on an EOS Naturepedic Mattress and we love it! Read my whole review on how to pick an organic mattress here!
- Filter your air. If you don’t have an air filter for your whole house, consider investing in one for your bedroom. You are breathing in that air for 7-8 hours of every day- make sure it is free of harmful VOCs, phthalates, and any other irritants! We just invested in an Intellipure 468, but other great options include Austin filters, and RabbitAir filters.
Looking for more?
Check out all my articles on non-toxic living for fertility!
And don’t forget to download my list of 79 Things I did to Get Happy, Healthy, and Pregnant!
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Anna Rapp is a fertility journalist and non-toxic living expert. When Anna Rapp was struggling with infertility and recurrent early miscarriage, she was diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve, High FSH, low AMH, low follicle count, endometriosis, and an MTHFR mutation. Despite being told donor eggs were her only solution, Anna used her graduate training in research methods and analysis to read everything she could find on fertility and egg health. Ultimately, she lowered her FSH and got pregnant naturally (twice). She blogs about how she did it and encourages her readers to take charge of their fertility journey and get happy, healthy, and pregnant!