Scientific evidence, particularly over the last 15 years, continues to link toxin exposure to infertility – and while exposure has become commonplace, it’s not something you should ignore.
Toxins are undeniably harmful to your body and are widely known to decrease sperm levels, and they poison the eggs and sperm. They prevent the body from maintaining itself so that conception can take place. They contribute to increased rates of miscarriage.
But the truth is, we’re all exposed to toxins through the air, water, soil, food, and everyday consumer products we come in contact with every day.
So although exposure to toxins isn’t wholly avoidable, you can educate yourself on the biggest offenders and take steps to lessen your exposure, especially when trying to conceive.
5 Toxins That Can Prevent You Conceiving
1. Mercury from fish – whilst fish can be a good source of protein and good fats, many fish contain high levels of mercury which can affect the quality of sperm and the frequency of women’s periods when eaten in high quantities.
Low-level mercury choices include Shrimp, Sardines, Farmed Salmon and Rainbow Trout. Fish to avoid include Flake, Swordfish and Marlin as these are bigger fish and mercury will be more concentrated in the upper end of the food chain.
If you decide to take fish oil supplements instead, ensure you choose a “clean product” which has been derived from a low mercury source.
2. Pesticides from non-organic products – fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds are essential for a healthy fertility eating plan, but if they are tainted with pesticides, you can be doing more harm than good.
The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) states that pesticides found in non-organic products are hormone disruptors meaning that they can lead to disrupted periods, hormone imbalance, sperm issues in men and further down the line low birth weight babies.
My advice, buy only organic. But if you’re finding this too expensive, purchase non-organic products which have thick skins that can be peeled off such as oranges and bananas.
Try growing your own organic herbs on your kitchen window and cultivating your own organic vegetable patch to save those dollars and cents.
And remember to also wash your other non-organic goods in a solution of water and apple cider vinegar!
3. BPA from water bottles and other plastic containers – Bisphenol A (BPA), a hormone disruptor, is a common toxic chemical contained in our food, food packaging such as plastic bottles, takeaway containers and inside metal cans, and many consumer products.
A study by the University of California has identified the first evidence in humans that exposure to BPA may compromise the quality of a woman’s eggs retrieved for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). As blood levels of BPA in the women studied doubled, the percentage of eggs that fertilised normally declined by 50 percent, according to the research team.
The chemical BPA also contains Xenohormones, which mimic hormones in the body leading to hormone imbalance.
Ensure you drink from glass or china. Choose BPA-free canned food and never heat up your food in plastic containers.
4. Parabens in your cosmetics – Parabens are in everything from make-up to body creams, spray tan solutions, sun tan lotions, shaving gels and moisturisers. They are absorbed into your body through the skin and like BPA also contain components that mimic hormones, in particular oestrogen that plays a big part in the reproductive system.
Chose Paraben-free body products, make-up and deodorant to ensure your exposure to these toxins is kept at a minimum.
5. Fluoride in your toothpaste – be wary on your next trip to the dentist and I’d highly recommend you ask them to hold off on the topical Fluoride application.
A Polish study found links to Fluoride and the decrease of sperm motility, which they noted “would undoubtedly affect the physiological function of the sperm” Zakrzewska (2002) & (2006). Previous studies had discovered connections with fluoride and issues with testosterone secretion and sperm morphology abnormalities.
Limit your fluoride intake by buying fluoride-free toothpaste and fluoride-free water such as Pureau (Australia), and be aware though that fluoride is also found in most bottled mineral water.
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Which foods have the lowest pesticides? Here's my Top 15 foods that naturally absorb or contain less toxins instead. Sweet corn | Avocados | Pineapple | Cabbage | Frozen Sweet Peas | Onions | Papaya | Asparagus | Mangoes | Eggplant | Honey Dew Melon | Kiwi | Cantaloupe Melon | Cauliflower | Grapefruit
Pesticides in fresh fruit and vegetables are toxic and can disrupt your hormones and play havoc with your fertility.
Here are the top 12 foods highest in pesticides that you should avoid at all costs.