The Forgotten Pillar
When supporting my patients through their fertility journey, I tend to prioritize the major health pillars of diet, exercise, treatment and medicines (such as herbs and supplements). However, there is one last oft-neglected area to consider, namely, the use of household and cosmetic products.
From household cleaners to body care products, the list of chemicals we are exposed to every day seems to be getting longer. These products have become ubiquitous in our lives to the extent that most people hardly bat an eye while adding liquid fabric softener into the washing machine (what does that stuff do, anyway?). Growing up in my house, there was Pine Sol for the floors, Windex for the windows and mirrors, Ajax for the sinks and baths, Vim for the chrome, Pledge for the wooden furniture; not to mention laundry detergents, fabric softeners, lotions, perfumes, soap, and other personal care products. Awareness about the dangers of these products has grown since those days, but only in certain demographics. For the most part, the large majority of people still have a bucket under the sink overflowing with countless bottles of chemical products to clean their houses and their bodies.
One of the many concerns with these products is the potential for endocrine disruption. Several common chemicals can affect your hormones in certain ways: imitating certain hormones, interrupting signalling between them, increasing or decreasing production of them, binding to certain nutrients, and accumulating in organs. Here’s a great resource on identifying products to avoid.
Aside from the endocrine disruption, there is also some data to suggest that exposure in utero can result in testicular pathology (including infertility) in male adults later in life. And here’s another great resource to help you get informed about some of the ways common household chemicals can affect your life.
Although many of us know this to be true, it remains an issue of alternatives. If not lysol, then what? If not Ajax then how will I ever get this sink clean? I need to have soap, right? While this is true, there are plenty of excellent products on the market that contain little or none of the toxins that interfere with your health. Have a look here (ewg.org) for dozens of healthy alternatives to your traditional cleaners and body care products.
If you have any questions about your specific case, call the clinic to book your complimentary 15 minute phone consultation.