Will Dyeing my Hair, Makeup or Perfume Impact my IVF Success?  

The long awaited day has arrived: you and your partner are about to undergo your first round of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). IVF is the process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus. All of a sudden, you realize there are a million questions that you forgot to ask your doctor: Is it safe to dye my hair? Can I use makeup and perfume? Will any or all of these affect my chances of IVF success?

IVF and Hair Dye – The Information You Need to Know Before Starting Your First IVF Cycle

The verdict on hair dye varies from clinic to clinic. Some say you can use it throughout your IVF cycle, holding off when you’re waiting to see your positive pregnancy results and then for the rest of your first trimester. Others say to hold off all together. 

The more we learn about environmental chemicals and their negative effects on fertility, the more we’re coming to understand that several of the most common ingredients used in hair dye and other cosmetics are endocrine disruptors, meaning they alter your natural hormone levels. Some are able to cross the placenta, introducing toxic chemicals into your uterus.

Since your future conception depends on just the right amount of hormones at just the right time, abstaining from hair dyeing is probably your best bet. If you can’t stand it, dye your hair for the last time no later than the second week of your IVF cycle and then hold out from there.

Can I wear makeup while I’m in the midst of my IVF cycles?

By now, our surrogacy agency, Shared Conception, assumes that you have looked up everything under the sun regarding your body, fertility and the things that can make your body less-than-fertile. As we mentioned above, current research points to more and more environmental factors that seem to play a role in infertility, including chemicals that are used in many of the cosmetics housed in our showers and cabinets. Now is a good time to switch over to more earth-friendly health and beauty products. As a rule of thumb, the fewer ingredients listed on a bottle, the better.

What about perfume?

If you can, try and stay away from scented and fragranced products, including perfume and commercial deodorants, throughout your IVF cycle and even into the first trimester, just to be safe.  Fragrance is an ubiquitous term used on beauty and cosmetic product labels – including your perfume – to stand for a hodge-podge of chemicals that create a particular smell. In many cases, there are very few  truly "natural” ingredients involved.

If you are someone who loves to wear perfume, we recommend visiting a store that specializes in eco-friendly natural health and beauty care products, made without the use of synthetic chemicals, and talking to them about essential oils. There are plenty of wonderful essential oils that can be used alone or in combination with one another to help you smell and feel better – without the negative side effects. Just a few drops are all you need.

Do keep in mind that some essential oils, such as wormwood, rue, oak moss, Lavandulastoechas, camphor, parsley seed, sage, and hyssop should not be used during pregnancy.

When in Doubt Leave Vanity by The Wayside During IVF Cycles

You’ve worked so hard to get to this point. If you have any doubts at all about a particular product, habit or treatment, why not skip it for the duration of your IVF cycle, until you get the go ahead from your doctor? Once you hold your beautiful, healthy baby in your arms – all of the sacrifices you have made will be well worth it.

Contact our surrogacy agency, Shared Conception, to learn more about IVF or to schedule a consultation.