Chemicals and Egg Health

My goal is to help support you becoming a happy healthy family. As we offer everything that today’s technology has available, it is also important that we also encourage you to take whatever steps possible to optimize the quality of the eggs that we are trying to fertilize.

We are all exposed to thousands of chemicals a day. Some of us are more sensitive to the dangerous impact of these chemicals on our health than others. Many of these chemicals can interfere with how our bodies, particularly our hormones work. This is important to consider when you are undergoing fertility treatments. Here is what you can do to reduce your exposure to dangerous chemicals that can impact your fertility.

 

-Avoid use of plastics, particularly with your food.

-Be an informed consumer about potential toxins in and around your home.

-Avoid heavily scented products

-Use glass/ceramic water bottles and cups with your beverages to reduce your exposure to chemicals.

-Wash your produce before eating to minimize exposure to pesticides

-Don’t use tobacco.

-Take your shoes off when you enter your home.

-Wash your hands before you eat

 

Egg health: diet & lifestyle tips

fullsizeoutput_6a59Today, I’m reviewing what things you can do with your diet and nutrition to optimize egg health.

Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have at birth. Every month, you lose a certain number of eggs regardless of whether you are TTC, pregnant, or going through fertility treatments. Women are always losing eggs until they run out, unlike men, who can re-generate sperm every few months. Honestly, the first time I heard this, I found it pretty depressing.

But ladies, there ARE things that we can do to optimize our egg health, particularly if you are doing fertility treatments. I personally found it empowering to make these diet changes when I was TTC because it felt like I had some control over how well we were able to do. There are many factors that play into success in a fertility treatment cycle, but why not consider doing these cheap/easy diet changes to optimize your chances of success?!

-Avoid fad diets like keto. Instead, stick to whole simple ingredients, like those found in a Mediterranean diet.

Caffeine is ok. Just keep it in moderation (<2 cups of coffee/day)

-Consider eating organic produce

Eat whole grains. You do not need to be gluten-free to optimize your fertility.

-Add tofu to your diet

-Avoid drinking sweetened beverages during a treatment cycle, particularly sodas.

 

Picture is of me giving a presentation last week to OBGYN providers about the importance of reviewing nutrition with our patients. Can you tell I LOVE talking about this issue?! It was my first time giving a talk term pregnant!

 

Male fertility and lifestyle

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Nearly 40-50% of couples who are having trouble getting pregnant have a male factor impacting their ability to conceive. Today, I’m reviewing what men can do to optimize their fertility naturally. Chemicals in our environment can impact male fertility. So guys, listen up!

The chemicals we are all exposed to everyday can impact our fertility. Lifestyle changes are one of the best tools you have to optimize your fertility naturally.

-Avoid marijuana use

-Avoid tobacco smoke. Smokers take longer to conceive than non-smokers.

-Do NOT use supplements that contain testosterone or any form of steroids without talking to your REI.

-Avoid sunscreen containing oxybenzone

-Avoid exposure to the dangerous chemical BPA

-Switch to shaving creams and soaps that are paraben-free

 

Men’s Fertility and Nutrition

Nearly 40-50% of couples who are having trouble getting pregnant have a male factor impacting their ability to conceive. Today, I’m reviewing what men can do to optimize their fertility naturally. So guys, listen up!

Your diet and nutrition are some of the best tools you have to optimize your fertility naturally.

Eat lots of vegetables and fruit. The more plant-based you are, the higher your natural fertility

-Get plenty of sleep (6-9 hours/night)

–Consider adding almonds and walnuts to your diet everyday

-Minimize meat intake. Even reducing one meat meal a week has been associated with increased fertility

These posts are for educational purposes only and are not medical advice. Go see your REIMTvC%kmpTrePvYHU9mwV+Q

 

More info from Instagram page!

Our society is changing and as physicians, we have to be adaptable to this changing world and what our patients need. As such, our blog has also increased its presence on Instagram @nataliagrindler_MD and @smilingloudly We will continue to post on this blog with evidence-based recommendations. But we will also be using our blog to provide the links that are not available on Instagram. So if you are interested in checking out the studies referenced in today’s post, see below!

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Why YOU (and your OBGYN) should care about #endocrinedisruptors 🤷‍♀️🤢🧪

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✅We are exposed to 84,000 chemicals each day.

✅The majority of these have not had testing to see if they can cause harm.

✅Our global health is changing: more cancers, decreased fertility, increased #asthma, increased #autism and #ADHD among many others.

✅Medical societies (ACOG, FIGO, ASRM) all agree this is an important issue

✅Pregnancy and #TTC is a great time to minimize harmful exposures.

✅By minimizing these exposures in pregnancy, we have the potential to prevent lifelong adverse health outcomes.

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I published a research study that showed that <20% of OBGYNs ever talk to their patients about dangerous chemical exposures. ❗️❗️❗️

We can do better. As women’s health providers, we SHOULD do better. I encourage all OBGYNs to read their societies committee opinion about endocrine disruptors; those that do are more likely to feel comfortable talking to their patients about these important issues.

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Picture of me from a conference earlier in the year where I shared my research and passion for advocacy with endocrine disrupting chemicals.

More on pesticides

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Thank you for the excellent feedback from our last string of posts: “Top 10 ways to minimize your exposure to toxic chemicals in our environment.”

One of the tips that was covered in this list is to eat lots of fruits and veggies. I recommended eating a variety and to choose organic selectively by using tools such as EWGs “Clean 15” and “Dirty 12.”

Human fertility rates are declining. Although this was thought to be due to lifestyle changes and societal changes, could our environment be playing a role? Could environmental contaminants like pesticides in our food be contributing to infertility?

This study in China showed that women with high levels of organophosphate or pyrethroids exposure (common pesticides) took longer to conceive and were more likely to have infertility than couples that had lower levels of exposure.

What you can do:

  • Wash your produce for at least 20 seconds to minimize your exposure to pesticides.
  • Eat organic when you can and strategically by utilizing resources like EWG’s dirty list: certain items are worth the money of switching to organic (“Dirty 12”) more than other produce (“Clean 15”)

Doing IVF? Avoid artificial sweeteners

For decades, infertility patients have been told to avoid caffeine consumption when trying to conceive and during fertility treatments. As we have previously reviewed, moderate caffeine consumption is ok, and could even help! New data is showing us that what you put in your coffee, could be more dangerous than the caffeine itself

We have previously discussed this topic: You are what you drinkThis study looked at couples doing IVF and found that women who drank beverages with artificial sweeteners had lower pregnancy rates than women who did not consume these beverages. Similarly, any type of soft drink consumption (regular vs diet) was associated with worse outcomes: poor embryo development in the lab and lower pregnancy rates.

If you are doing IVF, avoid using artificial sweeteners or consuming soft drinks in order to optimize your chances of success.

Take home points:

  • Men and women should avoid sugary drinks when trying to conceive, but particularly if they are using IVF
  • Using artificial sweeteners is not necessarily a safe alternative to sugary drinks
  • If you can’t completely eliminate sugary drinks, consider limiting your intake to <1 beverage a day.