January 4, 2018
by
in Fertility

3 Things You Use Every Day That Can Affect Fertility

By now you are probably aware of many things that can potentially harm your chances of conceiving a baby.  Alcohol, caffeine, medications, weight – they are all important contributors to infertility.  But there is a myriad of items in our homes that also have small but significant impacts on our body’s reproductive organs.  Here we will explore some everyday items that can hinder your conception abilities.

Pesticides

While we all know that pesticides used in the growing and storing process of fruits and vegetables, as well as those in cleaning products, are harmful to our health, the impact that they have on the male sperm can significantly affect fertility success.  Recent studies have attributed pesticides (and chemicals) to low sperm counts, low sperm motility rates (which results in fewer baby boys being born!), damaged sperm and birth defects that are connected to the sperm.  Pesticides are found in garden products, fertilisers, soaps, cosmetics, plastic, and on fruits and vegetables.  Reducing the amount of pesticides that you come into contact with can improve your chances of conceiving a baby.  This includes thoroughly washing your food or buying organic fruits and vegetables, use natural cleaners instead of chemical ones and minimise the use of BPA plastic in your home.

Mobile Phones and Laptops

There has been a significant amount of research conducted into the impact of radiation and heat on fertility – and the majority of studies conclude that both of these elements can harm both sperm (in men) and eggs (in women).  Mobile phones emit radiation, albeit only small amounts, but enough to cause damage to sperm in the testes, as well as eggs in the ovaries.  While no one is saying that you should ditch your mobile phone, keeping it in your pocket for extended periods of time may not be beneficial to your reproductive health.

Additionally, heat is also a damaging factor for sperm when they are exposed for long periods.  Mobile phones also radiate heat so be sure to move your phone away from your pants pocket!  Laptops are a significant source of heat, and for those men who work with computers on their laps, they may be inadvertently damaging their sperm.  Aim to use a laptop on a desk to ensure that your sperm is getting every possible chance of a healthy survival.

Phthalates

Phthalates are usually found in household plastic items, particularly food containers.  It is often used in conjunction with BPA to make plastic goods more pliable for use, and the research around its effect on fertility is increasing.  Phthalates interrupt the hormones in the human body and this, in turn, affects sperm quality and movement, as well as impacting on birth outcomes and brain development of babies.  Men who have higher concentrations of Phthalates in their system have been identified as taking longer to get their partners pregnant than those men who have small amounts in their bodies.  Women who have a higher concentration of Phthalates are at an increased risk of miscarriage, due to the impact on the hormones required to sustain a pregnancy.

Some ways to limit Phthalates include:

  • Not microwaving plastic containers with food
  • Avoid canned foods where possible
  • Avoid consuming food or drink that has been heated in plastic containing BPA

So where possible, eat fresh food! This will not only help with your overall health and fertility chances but will help to eliminate Phthalates in your system, too!

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