Preventing Infertility

Looking to get pregnant? Let’s look at ways to prevent infertility. Did you know your biological clock starts declining around age 27? For men, fertility declines around age 35.  Here are 5 tips to prevent fertility complications in the future:

Get Tested for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
It is important to stay education on STDs and their impact on your ability to conceive. Having unprotected sex just once may lead to complications, illness and sterility.  Get tested at your annual OB-GYN exam for sexually transmitted diseases. The major STDs affecting fertility are chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and human papillomavirus (HPV).

PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) is another STD that affects fertility and over 1 million women in the US are diagnosed with PID each year. This disease can cause permanent damage to your reproductive tract, and affects your ovaries, uterus and/or fallopian tubes.  Talk to your doctor about preventing this disease, and you may prevent infertility in the future.

Avoid Environmental Toxins
It is crucial to avoid environmental toxins when trying to conceive and also while you’re pregnant.  These toxins can negatively affect your ability to conceive, and also impact the health of an unborn baby.

Phthlates is a chemical found in plastic products that has been found to cause genital birth defects in boys who are exposed in the womb.  To prevent any exposure, purchase plastic products that have a recycling code of 1, 2 or 5.

Mercury is found in fish such as shark, swordfish, tilefish and mackerel.  High levels of mercury are linked to miscarriages, cancer and sometimes autism children.  Limit your fish intake to 12 ounces weekly and avoid any fish that have high levels of mercury when trying to conceive and during your pregnancy.  Some fish that have lower mercury levels include salmon, shrimp, canned light tuna, catfish and pollock.  Canned albacore tuna has a higher level of mercury, so avoid when possible.

Another toxin in the environment to avoid is bisphenol A (BPA).  BPA disrupts your homes and is found in a variety of products, including food cans, dental sealants and milk container linings. Studies have shown BPA can increase growth in breast cancer and prostate cancer cells.

Benzene, found in detergent, dyes, rubbers and lubricants is an endocrine disrupter that can contribute to infertility. It can also be found in different nail polishes, hair and paint products. Benzene has been found to stop women’s periods and lower men’s sperm count.  This toxic chemical can also cause hyperactivity in children.

Stop Smoking
Stop smoking. Now. Almost all studies regarding smoking and fertility show a serious impact, including secondhand smoke.  Experts also show a connection between smoking and SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Avoid Phthalates
Read product labels to ensure they don’t contain phthalates.  Here are a few examples of chemical abbreviations:

  • DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate) and DEP (diethyl phthalate) — found in personal care products.
  • DEHP (di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate or Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate) — found in medical devices and PVC plastics.
  • BzBP (benzylbutyl phthalate)  — found in flooring, car products and personal care products.
  • DMP (dimethyl phthalate) — found in insect repellent and some plastics.

Be Your Own Bodyguard
Protect your own fertility! Spend time learning about these tips with your partner and be aware of any difficulties you may experience if you come into contact with any of these complications.  Talk to your doctor about any questions you may have and for more advice on achieving success in your fertility journey.