Acupuncture on its own is extremely helpful in protecting and enhancing your fertility but it also helps to do the best you can yourself by paying close attention to what we expose our bodies to on a daily basis.
There is growing scientific evidence suggesting that exposure to various environmental factors both in utero and neonatally could dramatically affect adult fertility. Chemicals used in everyday life do not go through rigorous checks like most of the medicines. Because of this, poisonous chemicals end up circulating in our environment, air and water. In your own fat tissue (where pesticides like to accumulate) you probably still have deposits of pesticides and other toxic chemicals from the environment which were banned a long time ago.
Occasional exposure to one or the other toxic chemical is not of concern. Of concern is accumulation of these chemicals over the lifetime.
Where do they come from?
From industrial chemicals such as:
- Pesticides – on fruit and veg, tap water, in the air, in the soil
- Dry-cleaning chemicals
- Fuel additives, jet fuel
- Paint fumes
- Dioxins – endocrine disruptors (interfere with hormone function) by-product of pesticide and plastic manufacturing
- Formaldehyde – air fresheners, deodorants, floor polish, upholstery cleaners…
- Organic solvents (petroleum based liquids used in following industries: household products, electronics, car repair, health care, photography, agriculture, printing, construction and cosmetics and many more
So what are they?
Ovotoxicants – Chemicals that can disrupt or even stop ovulation:
- VCH – chemicals used in rubber tires, plastics and pesticides
- PAH – released from cigarettes, car fumes and road tar
Endocrine disruptors – Chemicals that can interfere with hormone function and may cause endometriosis and PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome:
- Nonyl phenol and organotins; both additives in plastic manufacturing
Did you know that phthalates which are used for plastic food containers, cling wrap, IV bags, medical supplies, vinyl flooring and packaging at high levels have been associated with miscarriage and testicular toxicity?
At low levels they disrupt hormonal balance. In naturopathy they are also known as Xenoestrognes as they act like estrogen once they enter the body.
The strongest evidence of heavy metals and environmental pollution adversely interfering with healthy reproductive function in women has been found for lead. Other compounds that can alter hormone function and result in adverse reproductive health effects are pesticides and persistent pollutants.
Men are not spared!
There are also numerous heavy metals that our body needs to deal with. Sperm seems to be even more sensitive to heavy metals and industrial pollutants than eggs and many sperm abnormalities have been linked to those toxins. Majority of these chemicals can be found in the atmosphere and on the ground of cities. They have also been termed “reprotoxicants” for their negative effects on the sperm development and maturation. Studies have confirmed that male sperm counts are declining, and environmental factors, such as pesticides, exogenous estrogens (Xenoestronegs), and heavy metals may negatively impact spermatogenesis (formation of sperm).
However the GOOD NEWS is; a number of nutritional therapies have been shown to improve sperm counts and sperm motility.
What to do?
The bottom line is – you can’t hide from the pollution and becoming paranoid about it would only cause more stress and harm in the long run. However what you can do is minimize the exposure to everyday pollutants by choosing products and cosmetics which are environmentally and fertility friendly.
By buying environmentally friendly products not only are you protecting your fertility and the environment (Earth’s fertility) but you are also influencing what sort of products will be reaching the market in the future. If everyone stopped buying products which are full of harmful chemicals manufacturers would have to reconsider the products they produce and offer the customer what they want or go out of business.
Here is what you can do to minimize your exposure to fertility robbing chemicals and to help the environment:
- Eat certified organic food and products (fruit, vegetables, meat, chicken, grains).
- Never eat skin or fat on chicken and other meat as that’s where the hormones and industrial pollutants accumulate.
- Don’t eat organ meat (liver, kidney…) as that’s where a lot of the toxins will accumulate.
- Eat in season – the longer the product needs to travel the more handling and packaging it had to go through.
- Use certified organic cosmetic products (shampoo, body wash, tooth paste, body lotion etc).
- Use environmentally friendly household products and detergents.
- Store your food in glass jars/containers, throw out plastic containers and make sure cling wrap doesn’t touch your food. If it does, cut that layer off and throw it out.
- Stop nuking your food in the microwave.
- Don’t use lead glazed glasses and pottery.
- Do your own research.