Like me, you probably are already a huge fan of Beautiful Because, but if you are planning on falling pregnant in the near future, I am going to give you greater cause to get excited about buying gorgeous products from my favourite beauty store!
As a practicing naturopath, nutritionist and medical herbalist, I am all too familiar with how endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC), found in every day living, can affect fertility. Endocrine disruption is a pretty fancy term for messing up your hormones. When you are considering trying for a baby, it is critical that you and your partner’s hormones are working properly. Every time we breathe, drink, eat, get dressed, sit on furniture, clean our houses and drive our cars, we are exposed to EDC. In this modern age, we live in a chemical quagmire. These chemicals have the capacity to affect the maturing female egg and the developing male sperm, with far reaching consequences!
Conventional, synthetic chemical-laden cosmetics and personal care products are one of the worst offenders in terms of endocrine disruption via toxin exposure. The cosmetics industry is a like a runaway bull with no governing body able to wrangle in companies, because there really are no laws holding them accountable. In the US, the FDA has no authority over cosmetic and personal care product companies. They don’t regulate ingredient safety and any recommendations they have handed down in the past have not been legally binding. The FDA has only banned 9 ingredients whereas the EU has banned 1000s! Sadly, Australia pretty much follows the FDA approach.
Nasty chemicals like Bisphenol A, parabens and phthalates are found widely in cosmetics and personal care products. They interfere with endocrine function by mimicking hormone actions, locking onto receptor cells, and preventing binding of your body’s naturally made hormones.
In egg and sperm, EDC levels are higher in women experiencing difficulty with fertility and have been linked to endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and ovarian insufficiency. In men, EDC exposure has been linked to mitochondrial damage which affects sperm production. Exposure may also lower testosterone and cause structural changes in the penile and testicular tissue.
It doesn’t just stop there. EDC also wreak havoc in pregnancy, impacting the developing embryo and foetus at every stage of womb development through altering gene expression and signalling. These disruptions have the capacity to affect lifelong health, and are linked with abnormal male gonadal development, developmental disorders such as ADHD and autism, cancers and infertility in offspring.
The most exciting news is that you have the ability to affect the health of your eggs and sperm by simply lowering or eliminating your exposure to EDC during the preconception phase and beyond. In an adult female, the maturing follicle and its precious egg takes over 4 months to develop as it moves towards ovulation. In men, new sperm are made approximately every 120 days. During this time, you can minimise your EDC exposure, improve egg and sperm quality and optimise your fertility chances.
If you are trying for a baby, overhaul your cosmetics cupboard today! There is always a healthier, toxin-free option in many aspects of your every day life, from the foods you choose to eat, to the products you choose to buy, and the car you choose to drive. Future generations will thank you for it, and you will improve your health and your chances of pregnancy.
By Lisa Murdoch
Formerly an Occupational Therapist, Lisa Murdoch completed a Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy at Endeavour College of Natural Health. Lisa practices at City Beach Naturopathic Centre in WA and has a special interest in the treatment of reproductive health issues and couples hoping to overcome fertility concerns. As a mother of three, Lisa is also committed to helping her patients throughout their lifespan including providing preconception care, support through pregnancy and beyond, to raise healthy, happy children. Lisa is a lecturer at Endeavour College of Natural Health, where she teaches final year Naturopathy and Western Herbal Medicine students. She is a local ambassador for Endeavour College of Natural Health, regularly appearing in digital and print media. Lisa has completed an intensive year long study program under the tutelage of Stacey Roberts, one of Australia’s leading natural fertility management practitioners, and is currently completing a Masters in Reproductive Medicine. Lisa is extremely passionate about naturopathic practice and is committed to assisting her patients achieve wellness using natural medicine solutions. She is available for Skype consultations for patients residing outside Western Australia. You can also find Lisa @thisnaturopathloves on Instagram