We are always working with and educating our clients on the importance of following a low tox lifestyle especially for those who are planning to conceive or pregnant. This is because many of the products we use on our skin and in the household contain endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) which have been shown to dramatically impact our reproductive and hormonal health.
What are endocrine disrupting chemicals?
EDCs are chemicals that mimic, inhibit, and/or interfere with the normal functioning of the body’s endocrine system. They act by sending false signals to your hormone receptor cells which disrupt the normal programming of your hormones.
EDCs can exacerbate hormone imbalances, impact female and male fertility and cause menstrual irregularities. Some EDCs are also linked with obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, estrogen-dependent cancers, and mood disorders.
EDCs can be found in many everyday products including personal care products, household items, food, medications and more. They are mostly found in the following products:
- Plastic bottles & food storage
- Metal food cans
- Soaps & Detergents
- Flame retardants
- Food additives
- Children’s products & toys
- Cosmetics (makeup, personal care products, sunscreens)
- Cleaning products
- Textiles and clothing
- Popcorn bags
- Thermal Paper Receipts
How do EDCs impact fertility?
EDCs have now been recognised as chemicals which alter the reproductive function in both males and females. They do so by mimicking or blocking our sex hormones including oestrogen and testosterone. Therefore, EDCs have the ability to cause imbalances in our hormone levels, decrease sperm and egg quality, damage the DNA in sperm, and increase the risk of infertility and miscarriage.
There is increasing amounts of research that shows that EDCs play a role in the pathogenesis of female reproductive disorders. These include:
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- Premature ovarian failure / Aneuploidy
- Reproductive Tract Abnormalities/ malignancies
- Uterine fibroids
- Ectopic gestation
- Precocious puberty / premature breast development
- Impaired breastfeeding
- Breast abnormalities/malignancies
- Low fertility & healthy pregnancies
How to reduce your exposure to EDCs
Considering how vital our hormonal health and endocrine system is, it is vital we make conscious choices to minimise our exposure to EDCs. Luckily, there are so many simple swaps we can make in our everyday lives to reduce our exposure to these nasty chemicals. While these are particularly important for everyone to implement, it is particularly important for those who are wanting to conceive or already pregnant.
- Always choose natural skincare, makeup, and cleaning products wherever possible. Use a tool such as https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/to explore different products and their ingredients. Our favourite skincare brand is Lust Minerals.
- Avoid fragrances and opt for no synthetic fragrance in any products
- Consider investing in a high-quality water filter – ensure its BPA/plastic free. Our favourite at home water filter is the Zazen filter.
- Use stainless steel or glass water bottles. Don’t drink bottled plastic water where possible, especially if it’s been in the sun.
- Buy organic produce, meat and dairy wherever possible. Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before consumption
- Don’t microwave plastic food containers or use them for storing hot liquids. opt for glass, porcelain, or stainless-steel containers when possible. Avoid heating with glad wrap over the top.
- Reduce consumption of canned and processed foods. Canned foods are usually lined with BPA plastic. Even cans labelled ‘BPA-free’ may use a similar chemical that hasn’t been proven to be any safer.
- Use ceramic-coated, stainless-steel, cast-iron pans and cookware.
- Avoid handling shiny EFTPOS sales receipts
- Read labels and avoid products containing phthalates, parabens, BPA, etc.
Are you struggling with hormone imbalances or fertility issues? Book in with one of our experienced Naturopaths to help you regain balance and optimise your fertility.