Fertility Friendly Swaps with Kate Potvin
Guest Blog By Kate Potvin, Fertility Coach + creator of Flourish Fertility
When you think about fertility, your shampoo probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.
But the fact is, many of the products we use in our daily lives are full of chemicals and toxins that have an impact on our fertility. Things like deodorant, shampoo, soap, and laundry detergent can all contain a whole cocktail of chemicals that aren’t doing your body any favors.
Many of these chemicals are considered endocrine disruptors meaning they affect our hormonal patterns, and some chemicals like phthalates, have even been linked to diminished ovarian reserve.
It’s important to consider your toxic burden at any point in life, but especially when you’re trying to conceive. These chemicals aren’t just ending up in your body--they end up in your baby’s body, too. A study done by the EWG in 2009 showed that there were over 200 chemicals in newborn baby’s umbilical cord blood, meaning babies are exposed to all these chemicals in utero, too.
We don’t always have complete control over everything we’re exposed to--we have limited control over the air we breathe for example--but we can do a lot by carefully choosing products that are designed to be safe, clean, and non-harmful to our bodies.
Here are 4 categories to get you started:
Plastics: swap out those plastic water bottles and food storage containers for glass or stainless steel. BPA in plastic is a known endocrine disrupter, and although some companies are removing BPA, the alternatives aren’t necessarily much better.
Personal Care: swap out deodorant, lotions, shampoos, hand soaps, and makeup for clean, non-toxic varieties. Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs everything we put on it, including all those chemicals in our products! Check out these 3 swaps for cleaner products:
Laundry: find non-toxic detergents and get rid of dryer sheets in favor of wool dryer balls. We spend 24 hours a day either touching our sheets or clothing, and if those items have picked up chemicals through our laundry products, we’re absorbing them through our skin, too. The Conscious Merchant carries Melioria Laundry Powder in bulk for you to refill. Melioria is Made Safe certified and great for every household.
Fragrance: all those great smells that make us love air-fresheners, candles, and even perfumes are usually a cocktail of harmful chemicals. Swap out for all natural products or essential oils.
Finally, I know it can be overwhelming to make all these changes! If it feels like a lot, simply do it slowly over time, and replace things as they run out. Or you could choose 3 products you use daily to swap out first, and change 2-3 more things each month. Whatever works for you and your budget.
It can also be hard to remember all the names of ingredients you’re supposed to avoid, which is why it can be helpful to shop specifically in places that carefully curate all their products. Stores like The Conscious Merchant do the work for you--they vet all their products first, so you know you’re shopping all clean, non-toxic options.
Start making these swaps, and clean up your household items and personal care products. Your hormones and fertility will thank you!
Kate Potvin is a women’s Fertility + Hormone Coach and empowers women to take charge of their health and fertility through online education and individual coaching. Learn more at katepotvin.com or on instagram @flourishfertility