Most people, if not everybody, wants to have a baby at some point in their life. It’s a way to pass on your blood, your history, your heritage, and most important of all, yourself. Having a baby is the world’s biggest responsibility as well as the biggest joy; it’s the ultimate accomplishment for anybody, in some sense giving birth and bringing new life onto this planet is the most important of our functions, plus they’re just so cute!
Unfortunately some people, in fact many people, suffer from fertility issues, both men with low sperm count and women with trouble conceiving. There seems to be an increasing epidemic with more and more people becoming infertile. Now, only the blind would try to argue that it has nothing to do with how we live, what we’re surrounded by, and what we put into our bodies.
Everybody knows the old saying, “you are what you eat,” and to a certain extent this is true, along with the things we breathe, smell, and touch. Today’s modern world is filled with so many chemicals and toxins , if we could get rid of the chemicals and toxins that cause infertility and miscarriages, we'd most likely see a rise in births.
If you’re trying to get pregnant and can’t or are having fertility issues of other sorts, then one of the things on this list might be the culprit; read on and find out just exactly what you need to avoid to increase your fertility and maximize your chances of conception.
Smoking is one of those things that women looking to get pregnant should definitely stay away from. Besides the obvious risks of heart and lung problems due to smoking, there's also an increased risk of infertility or being able to conceive a child for an shortened period of time.
To put it into perspective, the risk of infertility for smokers is almost twice that of non smokers, as well your chances of being able to conceive are also shortened because smoking will cause menopause to start earlier. So if you want a baby later on in life, your chances are significantly reduced.
Your body and lungs will thank you for stopping
Even second hand smoke or passive smoking is considered to be only slightly less dangerous than actually smoking, so if you live with someone that smokes, especially indoors, then the risk of fertility issues remains large, and of course the more someone smokes, the larger an effect this will have.
Many people know of the risks of smoking during pregnancy, but many may not know that their chances of actually getting pregnant are limited if they’re a smoker. Smoking isn’t only bad for your body and your baby’s health, but it might also make it so that you can’t have a baby at all.
Everybody loves their green lawns and lush gardens don’t they? And apparently that’s why everybody sprays pesticides on them.
In my neighborhood, in the beginning of spring there’s always a truck going lawn to lawn spraying virtually every house, and no matter how many birds and cats end up killed by the poison they still don’t stop. Not only are pesticides very harmful to the environment and to other animals but they are really harmful to humans too.
You can live with some weeds, but can you live without children?
The problem arises when the pesticides leach into the ground and eventually into the groundwater from being sprayed. High levels of pesticides are shown to cause infertility, like, complete infertility, as well as miscarriages.
So for those people who spray down every Dandy Lion and weed in their lawn and on their driveway, just be aware of the damage being done to the environment and eventually to the people who are trying to procreate…. Just keep the garden natural, no need to load it full of poison.
Glymes?? That’s probably what you’re thinking, and to be honest before I wrote and researched this article so was I. But the fact of the matter is that glymes is a chemical that is actually quite common and used for many things such as microchips, circuit boards, inkjet cartridges, lithium batteries, paints, and most of all carpet cleaners.
Glymes is a chemical in the glycol ether family and is a type of solvent. The biggest threat here is either to women who operate or work in an environment where these items or chemicals are produced or used. These chemicals are shown to greatly decrease fertility and more so they are shown to cause a high rate of miscarriage and still birth.
You can petition the product makers to consider the quality of the lives of people across the world
Since many women in the Western world probably don’t work in factories where items like microchips, carpet cleaner, or lithium batteries are made it may not be a huge problem, but for hundreds of thousands of women in the Eastern, third world, or global south, whatever terminology you use, they often work in factories where these chemicals are used or made, and the rates and ratios of miscarriage are corresponding.
So, for the other people that don’t work in factories with these chemicals it should be noted that you will want to stay away from carpet cleaners and paints. If you need to clean your carpet use some lemon juice, club soda, or baking soda and vinegar, and if you feel the need to paint your house then avoid paints with glymes in them at all costs, or just wait until you’re done having kids because the glymes in paint may just make you infertile.
7 GMO’s – Genetically Modified Organisms
GMO’s have been a huge source of controversy and debate in the recent past; with not much research being published or done by proprietors such as Monsanto as to the public safety of these products.
It leaves the public quite concerned, confused, and in many cases unaware of the dangers that GMO’s possess. The largest problem is that there's not enough research that has been done on them, there isn’t enough conclusive evidence to show that they are safe or unsafe to eat. Many GMO’s often include soy, corn, canola, and other grains and vegetables.
Support local farmers and you'll never have to worry about GMOs.
Another problem is that these plants are designed to withstand high doses and quantities of pesticides, so much so that it actually end up inside the food, and as you know pesticides are no good for fertility. A study done recently showed that lab animals such as rats and rabbits showed signs of troubled reproduction, often getting worse as the generations progressed.
After 4 or 5 generations the fertility of the animals was decreased by a significant amount. This begs the question of what these GMO's will do to humans. So ladies and gents, to be safe and stay as fertile as possible, it is highly recommended to stay away from all GMO’s and eat as much organic food as possible.
Another thing that will create a large obstacle to a couple trying to conceive, is if the female is an excessive alcohol drinker. If a woman is trying to get pregnant she shouldn’t drink more than 350 milliliters of wine per week (or equivalent), in any case a woman trying to get pregnant should avoid alcohol all together.
Women who drink more than the recommended amount are shown to have a decreased chance of conception by almost 20%, and this goes up to 15% for men. The links between alcohol consumption and decreased fertility are somewhat unclear, scientists aren’t quite sure why it happens, but it does happen, and that has been proven.
You really shouldn't be drinking when you're pregnant
So ladies, if you really like your margaritas, but are trying to get pregnant then it looks like there's quite the choice to be made, and if you’re having trouble conceiving and you really like the drinks, well then this might be the answer.
5 PCB’s – FISH
PCB otherwise known as polychlorinated biphenyl, is a chemical that has been banned. It was used for insulation and water protection in the electric industry, one of the most famous uses being in fridges. Even though these chemicals have been banned for a long time, they have an extremely long half life, meaning that they don’t break down very quickly, they end up building up, especially in the water.
The result being that fish absorb the PCB’s, the buildup of this chemical in the fish over time. Then eventually us humans eat the PCB laden fish. PCB’s are found in a variety of fish, the worst culprit being salmon, specifically farmed salmon, tuna as well.
Always check with your food supplier where they get their food from
There’s a good reason as to why PCB’s were banned, and it’s because there are extremely poisonous, they cause cancer among other things, they help deteriorate our environment and the ozone, and most important of all for this article, they cause infertility and when consumed in high quantities they can cause birth defects and miscarriages.
While it's essential to get your omega-3’s, be sure to read up on the latest PCB counts and be sure to consume fish which is deemed to be safe.
4 Flame Retardants
These are chemicals will definitely cause infertility, especially in women. The problem with Flame Retardants or by their technical name polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDE are used in many things such as carpet padding, furniture foam, computer parts, even fridges, and it has become so common that it is beginning to be found in household dust.
To throw a number out there, it’s shown that women with elevated levels of this chemical in their system take 30% more time to actually get pregnant when trying to conceive, and that’s a long time! There’s no easy way to get these things out of your home since so many things contain PBDE’s; your couch, carpet, fridge, and pretty much any electronic device you have will contain these flame retardants.
You don't need to make your couch flame resistant if you think about it
However, some of the ways you can eliminate them is by choosing hard surfaces such as hardwood floors over carpeting, also dust and wipe down your computers and other electronics often so the dust doesn’t accumulate. When dust accumulates it will absorb these chemicals and then travel around the house through the air.
Like I said there’s no real way to get rid of them altogether, but it's possible to be vigilant and cut back on them as much as possible. There are several new businesses which are beginning to make fridges, computers, and other electronics without these harmful chemicals.
3 Non-stick Chemicals
I love to cook, and I love to eat even more, none of those are problems in my mind, it’s when the cleaning part comes in that I really start to regret the 4 course meal I just made in my cast iron skillets. Some of that stuff you can’t get off with a jackhammer and 4 bottles of CLR.
That’s why very many people today use pots and pans that are non-stick, meaning that they are coated in Teflon or some other anti-adhesive substance, people also use non-stick sprays like Pam to cover their dishes, pots, and pans to prevent their lasagna from sticking.
The problem with these chemicals is that not only can they be toxic, especially the non-stick coated Teflon pans which when scratched or nicked can start to release toxic chemicals into your food while you cook, but they can also decrease your fertility; this is especially true for the non-stick sprays.
Better to use ceramic cookware for a natural non-stick surface
The chemicals from non-stick cookware and sprays leaches into your food, these chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl acids are shown to cut the amount of healthy sperm in a male in half when present in high enough quantities, and for women, the time it takes to conceive a baby is shown to be far longer when they have elevated levels of non-stick chemicals in their blood.
The lesson here is that when you’re trying to get pregnant you’re going to have to use the old school metal pans, use lots of grease, and get the steel wool ready… should probably do that any way seeing as non-stick chemicals are shown to be carcinogenic!
2 Bysphenol A (BPA)
Bysphenol A or BPA is a chemical that is very common today , so common that it's hard to get rid of and found almost everywhere when you look for it, it can be found in the water, dust, sand, and dirt, especially in large cities.
Bysphenol A is shown to decrease both male fertility, it lowers their sperm count and quality significantly, and female fertility, it affects how long a woman takes to get pregnant making harder to conceive.
The reason these chemicals are so common and pervasive is because they are used in so many things, the worst of them being canned foods (the lining of the can), plastic dishes, Tupperware, and other plastic fast food containers like the ones you buy a whole readymade supermarket chicken in.
You can easily eliminate this from your life if you're dedicated to your fertility
These chemicals inevitably end up leaching into the food, especially so for canned foods because the food often is in the can for months or even years before finally being consumed. So one thing you should ban for sure if you’re looking to get pregnant or having fertility issues is BPA; no more canned foods, no storing things in Tupperware, and no heating up plastics in the microwave because it might just cost you your fertility.
Phthalates, while dangerous to a woman’s fertility really poses minimal risk, it’s the men that really need to be worried in this case; this is still important for the ladies I suppose as it does take 2 to tango. Phthalates are most often found in scented products ranging from air fresheners, dryer sheets, laundry detergent, scented candles, deodorant, lotion, soap, hairspray, and cologne, it's also found in plasticized products such as vinyl and faux leather.
The nitty gritty of the story is that men with abnormally high levels of phthalates in their system show decreased sperm counts, as well their sperm is shown to be abnormal and sometimes even damaged in terms of its DNA and genetic structure.
You'll have to find another way to mask your body odor
Everyone wants to look and smell good of course, so the simple solution is to use phthalate free products, usually they are the ones that are unscented; hint* “parfum” and “fragrance” in the ingredient list probably means that it has phthalates, avoid those. For candles use unscented ones or even beeswax candles, and try to avoid having too many vinyl products in the house.
Ladies, if you want your men’s soldiers to be ready for battle then phthalates need to be gotten rid of.