TRYING for a baby can be a testing time.
You want it to happen straight away but the reality is it'll probably take a lot longer than you think.
There are actually many reasons having a baby doesn't come as quick as you think.
We all have a toxic load. This is the build-up of chemicals, some natural, some not, in our bodies from everyday exposure to everything from shampoo to pollution.
Our bodies do a pretty amazing job at dealing with whatever life throws at them, but sometimes they need some help.
This is why we've a created a list of hidden toxic items that could affect fertility.
1. Your mobile phone
You may have heard of the anti-radiation phenomenon?
Due to emissions of radiation, mobile phones are questionably a modern man’s nemesis.
Linked to male infertility (it is very difficult to measure potential effects on female fertility) and a whole host of other problems, perhaps we should all consider keeping our phones out of our pockets, well away from our bits.
2. Blue light
The amount and quality of sleep may be linked to a woman’s fertility and could impact negatively on our stress hormones and coping mechanisms.
We all need good sleep and for that we need our melatonin (sleep hormone) to rise – a tad difficult when you are stimulating your eyes with bright light, or more specifically blue light late into the evening (which is like morning light to our eyes).
This blue light can come from screens such as TV, phone, tablet, PC, laptop and also the tiny ‘on’ lights on devices/plugs.
Try using a dimmer setting on your phone or laptop after 8pm, read instead of watching TV and ban screens for at least an hour before bed.
3. Your make up
A lot of cosmetics and beauty products contain chemicals we could quite simply do without and that’s without adding a baby into the mix.
Synthetic ingredients, harsh chemicals and plastics within recipes have been linked to hormone disruption and even cancers.
One group of preservatives that have received a lot of press are parabens.
Indeed, some of the bigger brands now sell paraben-free formulations for hair care, body and facial products.
But remember, just because there is a picture of something natural on a bottle, tube or packet, doesn’t mean it is free of nasties.
4. Tap water
Property that pre-dates the 1970s may have some lead piping if the plumbing has not been modernised.
You can ask a plumber to check your pipe work or request data reports from your local water board if you are concerned about the possibility of lead in your water supply, which could affect fertility.
The water supply itself has also come under scrutiny as we use so many more chemicals in our daily lives and the water treatment system uses chemicals such as chlorine.
Residues of contraceptive hormones (from various contraceptive pills) can be passed in urine and be found in our drinking water, but this is just one example of hormones in our drinking water, natural hormones can also play their part in upsetting the balance.
Drinking water is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and it does help our bodies to naturally rid the body of toxins. Try to drink filtered water when you can.
5. Laptops on laps
This one is for you gents – scrotal temperature. Your testicles are on the outside for a reason.
Using that laptop on your lap can heat things up and affect the quality of sperm.
Hot baths, heated seats, long periods of cycling, running, or even sitting at your desk can raise the temperature down there.
So choose your sport (and your briefs) wisely and take breaks from your desk or the little guys are not going to be too happy.
Often, in this hectic world, convenience wins over what might be better for us.
Latterly, many people have switched to plastic food containers and drinks containers free of Bisphenol-A (BPA), especially for babies’ bottles, kids lunch boxes, as there has been plenty of evidence of hormone disrupting chemicals in BPA.
The trouble is that new plastics are not necessarily safe either, the scientific data just hasn’t caught up yet, or we are not willing to give up our convenient storage solutions.
What is known is that storage containers made of glass or stainless steel are safe for food and drink storage, so let’s, slowly but surely (or all at once, if you are up to the challenge), let go of our plastic food storage and never again will you have a pile of tupperware jump out of the cupboard at you.
Without food we would not survive but the quality and variety of the food we eat has a huge impact on the way our bodies are able to function.
If there is too much pressure on our detoxification system or if it is a bit sluggish, pesticides could add to the toxic load and become a stressor.
Old hormones may be re-circulated if they cannot be efficiently detoxified from the body and this may disrupt the delicate hormone balance, potentially making conception more of a challenge.
We know that pesticides are used on many farms to help produce volume and uniform goods and we know that buying organic food is an option, but one which may not suit every budget.
MORE ON INFERTILITY
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Heavy metals such as lead and cadmium and toxic solvents used to be common ingredients in paint.
Some ingredients have been banned altogether and you can now chose paints which are not toxic to inhale.
Look out for zero or low VOC ratings (volatile organic compounds) or better still, check out organic paints.
If you have old paint work and are re-decorating, protect yourself from potentially toxic particles with an appropriately robust face mask.
This story originally appeared on Healthista and has been republished with permission.
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