Have you ever thought that products or chemicals you have and use in your home could be having a negative affect on your fertility? US realtor Anthony Gilbert takes a look at what could be causing an issue
There are an estimated 7.3 million women in the United States having trouble conceiving. In the UK, one in six couples struggle to conceive and many couples get medical reason for their issue, known as unexplained infertility.
Environmental contaminants in the home might just be the reason why some couples are having problems taking this important next step in their lives.
From carpeting to water bottles to personal care products, chemicals may be lurking that can interfere with the most natural of processes. Here are five of the insidious dangers lurking in a home that may decrease your chances of conceiving and having a baby.
The chemicals used in many of our home products can impact female and male reproductive health. Chemicals in cleaning products, cosmetics, inks, insulation, stains, thinners, varnishes, paints and more can subtly and invisibly decrease chances of a successful pregnancy. Chemical solvents can cause issues with menstrual cycles, lead to miscarriages or decrease semen quality. Switch to Greenguard Environmental Institute certified products and purchase no-VOC paint whenever possible.
Flame retardants are all around and can be found in the casings of electronics, carpet padding, couches and more. These chemicals can make their way into blood streams and cause damage to reproductive health. Research has shown a connection between polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) and conception. Those with lower levels took a shorter time to get pregnant than those women considered to have high levels of this flame-retardant compound. Look for furniture made with nontreated materials, including latex, wool or cotton and stay clear of areas where carpets are being removed.
Plastic Bottles with Number 7
There are many plastic bottles on the market but be aware of those with a 7 stamped on their surface. Such hard-plastic bottles contain BPA or bisphenol A. This chemical can be found in baby bottles, beverage cans and food linings. A study linked BPA with poor semen quality involving participants who were Chinese factory workers. There appeared to be a direct correlation between higher BPA levels and lower motility, vitality and count of sperm. Poor quality sperm has already been associated in men with low levels of this substance. Men interested in having children would do well to toss such water bottles for those without the number 7.
Nonstick Pans and Pots
Many of us own nonstick pans, but did you know the coating on such pots and pans includes PFOA or perfluorooctanoic acid. Women with high levels of this chemical in the blood appear to have a more difficult time conceiving. When a child of such a woman is born, there is a lower probability that they reach important developmental milestones. Individuals would do well to choose other types of pans as well as be aware of products containing PFOA, such as typical microwave popcorn bags.
Chemicals in some laundry detergents can make it harder to carry a pregnancy to term, resulting in miscarriage. In addition, semen quality may be affected by such chemicals. To avoid such a problem, it is useful to replace petroleum-based detergents with fragrance-free, vegetable-based detergents. Seventh Generation is a line that has products better for those looking to get pregnant. Read over the ingredients on other cleaning and personal care products, such as shampoos and conditioners, and discard those with formaldehyde, phthalates or parabens.
Have you had problems conceiving due to chemicals and products in your home? Email us your story or advice to others on the subject, firstname.lastname@example.org