Have you done ivf and had a low egg fertilization rate? Or the embryos didn’t make it past the first day or two? You were probably told it’s because you have “old eggs”.

Exposure to plastics and chemicals in household products can damage sperm and its ability to get an egg to blastocyst stage. If we can get more of this research we may be able to get past the “old eggs” scenario that is currently used to explain almost all IVF failure. We could start being able to find more of the real reasons that fertilization rates are dropping and blastocyst stage embryos are harder to come by.

If you’re a patient in my clinic it’s likely I’ve told you that your poor ivf results could actually be a sperm problem.
Here is some of the latest research that describes some of the effects of phthalates (a common household chemical) on sperm and some of the key reproductive functions that get compromised when sperm are exposed to high levels of this chemical.

The way to reduce your exposure to phthalates is to get the most natural personal care and cleaning products you can find. First question to ask yourself – is this edible? I’m serious here – if you wouldn’t eat it then think twice about putting it on your skin. Then check the label to see what chemicals are in it – link in the comments to a screenshot from a helpful app called chemical maze.

Not everyone studied chemical engineering like I did, so not everyone knows the extent to which these chemicals get into our homes and the environment. It’s scary stuff. Big part of the reason why I decided to be a health practitioner instead. I just didn’t want to be involved in an industry that is poisoning our population and the earth.

This chemical stuff can’t be in your house. You’ve got to replace as much of this as you can. Every choice makes a difference. Hint: anything you can buy in a supermarket is probably not ok. You will have to get it from a health food store or buy it online.

And remember some men’s genetics are going to make them and their sperm more vulnerable than others. We are all unique, and some of us are more at risk of being upset by synthetic hormone disrupting chemicals than others. Yes it sometimes feels unfair because Bob down the road is doing xyz and his wife is pregnant…. etc etc. I get it. It sucks. Good news is you can do something about it.

These chemicals affect women too and their hormonal and reproductive function – that’s a whole other story.

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