Trying to Conceive in 2012? Some chemicals to avoid

This year, many couples who have been struggling to conceive a child are hoping it will be the year they finally are fortunate enough to get pregnant and stay pregnant long enough to give birth to a healthy baby. In addition to in vitro fertilization options, there are many alternative means available such as accupuncture, Asian medicine and yoga.
People who you know TTC (trying to conceive) sometimes don’t take too kindly to well-meaning and good-intentioned friends and acquaintances telling them what they are doing wrong. It’s not a good idea for a couple reasons: 1. It’s placing the blame on them for their own infertility and struggles which can be unfair especially if they have gone out of their way to do everything they think is necessary to conceive; and 2. They’ve probably already heard and read it all before anyway and may not need to hear a very fertile woman with 4 children give them advice.
Nonetheless, every once in a while there is an article that talks about things TTC couple should try to avoid that can be helpful.  For example, HealthyChild put together a list of chemicals TTC should consider. The take away seems to be use only cleaning products with all natural ingredients.
It’s part of an article about Law and Order‘s Elisabeth Rohm and her struggles to conceive.  It took her 8 months before she and her husband had success, which is a time shorter than most.
Here are a few chemicals HealthyChild lists that have been linked to decreased fertility and how you can avoid them:


•Found in Glass cleaners, all-purpose spray.

•Avoid it by making your own non-toxic cleaners or buying safer products from companies that disclose ingredients and don’t use it.

Alkyl phenol ethoxylates (APEs)

•Found in laundry detergents, stain removers, and all-purpose cleaners.

•Avoid it by making your own non-toxic cleaners or buying safer products from companies that disclose ingredients and don’t use it.

Ammonium quaternary compounds

•Found in some disinfectant sprays, toilet cleaners, and alcohol-free hand sanitizers.

•Avoid them by reducing your use of disinfectant products and using safer alternatives when necessary.


•Found in fragrances in cleaning products, personal care products, cosmetics & nail polish (though they’re not always listed on the label).

•Avoid products with synthetic fragrance or look for products labeled “fragrance-free.” Look for nail polishes labeled “three-free” or “phthalate-free.” Here are more tips for avoiding phthalates.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)

•Found in flame retardants used in foam furniture, electronics, fabrics, carpets and plastics. The chemicals are being phased out nationwide, and certain PBDEs have been banned for use in California. But they are still found in products made before 2004.

•The main exposure route is through ingestion of dust, so wash your hands often, dust and vacuum with a HEPA filter regularly.

Bisphenol-A (BPA)

•Found in polycarbonate plastic (#7 PC), canned foods, thermal receipt paper, and more.

•The quickest way to reduce your BPA exposure is to stop eating canned foods (or look for those labelled “BPA-free”). Here are other ways you can avoid BPA.

The newest study on BPA published in Fertility and Sterility found that the chemical can adversely affect women under-going IVF. Although the results are preliminary, the study’s authors caution that women undergoing IVF may want to limit their exposure to BPA prior to and during the IVF cycle, given the prior published data suggesting a negative effect on egg quality as well.

Good Luck and God bless to all the TTC in 2012. Here’s wishing this is the year of a baby blessing for you all.

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