We are often asked if dying your hair, using makeup, and exposure to everyday products can impact the success of an IVF transfer. The truth is, many of these products do contain Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs). EDCs are substances that can interfere with the normal function of the body’s endocrine system. It can affect our developmental, reproductive, brain, and immune systems and even cause other problems.

Since EDCs come from many different sources, you can be exposed in several ways, sometimes without even knowing, including the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, and the products we use. EDCs also can be absorbed through the skin. It may be impossible to evade them completely, but being mindful of our products’ ingredients can help avoid some exposure.

Here are five main EDCs to be aware of:

  • BPA: Bisphenol A is a chemical that has been used to make plastics since the 1950s. According to the Mayo Clinic, some research shows that BPAs can seep into food and beverages. To limit your exposure to BPAs, use BPA-free products, avoid heating plastic, decrease your use of canned foods, or use alternative storage options like glass rather than plastic.
  • DDT: DDT was used in insecticides but banned in the ’70s in the US. However, DDT still remains in the environment. As exposure increases, so does the rate of sperms with extra chromosomes leading to miscarriage or birth defects.
  • Dioxins: Dioxins are by-products of manufacturing processes. Humans are typically exposed through animal-based foods such as dairy, meat, or sometimes fish, where dioxins are stored in the animal’s fatty tissues.
  • Heavy Metals: Heavy metals are naturally found on the earth and are not generally harmful. However, too much exposure has been found to affect fertility. Exposure to lead paint or consistently working with metals can be factored in overexposure to heavy metals. If you have older plumbing, you can have your water tested for the existence of any heavy metals.
  • Phthalates: Phthalates are used in plastics and are found in shower curtains, building materials, plastic blinds, and even headphone cords. Some types of phthalates are also found in fragrances and cosmetics. To limit your exposure to phthalates, buy non-PVC items and products labeled “fragrance-free” or “phthalate-free.”

Since many things in life are out of our control, we cannot completely avoid exposure to EDCs. However, by making informed decisions about the products we use, we can stay healthy, and potentially increase the chance of a successful IVF transfer.

Shared Conception pledges to keep you knowledgeable and informed throughout your entire journey. Interested in becoming a surrogate? Give us a call today or visit www.deliveradream.com to fill out an application request form! We would love to hear from you!