Health + Infertility – Part 1:BPA
Over the last 6 months to a year I’ve been doing a ton of research on how to improve our fertility chances naturally. It all started with researching vitamins and food, which is when we made several changes. But it didn’t stop there. I couldn’t help but think about how prevalent infertility is now. Much more than years ago. Part of that might be technology and the ability to diagnose and measure the number of people struggling. But I have to think there is a reason that the average sperm count in males used to be 200 million, and now it is 40 million. And, I think a lot of it is due to the environment around us and the things we put in our bodies.
So, during the time I was looking into this, we came across a Dateline special on a typical American family who uses everyday household products as well as eats an average diet. The study they did was to measure the level of hormone disruptors in their bodies.
It was absolutely shocking.
They took baseline levels to check the amounts of BPA, Tricolsan and Phthalates. They then removed all products and foods containing the hormone disruptions from their home and retested. Of course, the levels dropped tremendously. The even more disturbing part was the levels in their 1 and 2 year old aged children before removing the products/foods were off the charts.
So after researching online and seeing the dateline video we started examining all the products we use and keep in the house; cleaning supplies, cosmetics, storage containers, canned foods, etc.
It’s definitely information overload, so I’m just going to focus on BPA for this post.
I’m sure most people have heard this or at least seen the BPA labels more over the past years. But if you haven’t, BPA is used to make plastics such as water bottles, sports equipment, lining of pipes, food cans, and beverage cans.
The bad thing about BPA is it releases hormone-like properties. It has Estrogenic Activity which means it mimics the estrogen hormone in our body. In turn, it causes hazards to children, fetuses and infants and has been linked to early puberty, compromised quality of eggs, reduced sperm counts, altered functions of organs, increased rates of cancer, etc etc etc. Some studies have linked prenatal exposure while in the womb to later the baby having physical and neurological difficulties. A 2011 study that investigated the number of chemicals pregnant women are exposed to found BPA in 96% of women. Scary stuff!!
A quote from this article regarding IVF says, “In the study, doctors collected 24 percent fewer eggs from women with high levels of BPA in their bodies, compared with women who had low levels of the industrial chemical.”
So what are some changes you can make that we have also done to remove BPA from entering our bodies?
– Get rid of all plastics with numbers 1,3,6 and 7 on the bottom. Use glass when possible
– Avoid heating food in plastic containers (regardless of what number is on the bottom)
– Stop using canned foods. The main thing we eat canned is legumes, which we eat a TON of, so now instead I buy them dry and cook them myself. (Eden’s Organic cans are BPA – free). This article lists other cans you can buy that are BPA – free
– Don’t drink bottled water. Use only use BPA – free water bottles or glass.
What more information? Google Infertility + BPA and there will be article after article on the negative affects of BPA + infertility. I hope this brings awareness to others as it sure was eye opening for us and I’ll be doing more posts in the future of other household products that affect fertility and our health.