After having tried multiple fertility treatments and natural ways to conceive a baby, we are still empty handed. I have been on this path for a long time now, and I find myself still looking for the next thing that I can do to increase my chances of conceiving. I am at the point where I am willing to try pretty much anything that I hear or read with regards to fertility. WHY? Well, because there is nothing in this world that my heart desires more than becoming a mother.
In the past few months, I have been reading and doing some research on toxins and how they impact fertility in particular. I came across an incredible book called “It Starts with the Egg” by Rebecca Fett. In the book, I was made aware of in-depth details of how toxic products like BPA and Phthalates impact women’s fertility. The author specifically mentions how women tend to have higher levels of toxins than men in their bodies due to their skin and make-up products! These toxic substances are known to not only interfere with the quality of a woman’s egg but to also impact the egg’s ability to develop into healthy embryos.
If you are trying to conceive, whether naturally or through IVF, note that it takes about 3 months for eggs to mature. Therefore, it is very important that you begin to reduce your exposure to toxic substances at least three months before you begin trying. This will simply increase your chances of conceiving and keeping the pregnancy. Reading the labels of products can be exhausting and the truth is, there are so many tricky things corporations can do to get away with not listing all of their ingredients. However, it is still our duty as consumers to do the research and buy only what we think is in our best interest. As a general rule, look for labels that don’t contain: phthalates, DEP, BPA, perfume or, fragrance.
Go figure, the same products that are supposed to be for women’s enhancement of beauty are the same products that are causing women to suffer from high levels of toxicity which lead to health conditions such as infertility and miscarriage. Inspired by this information, I decided to compile in here a short list of websites as well as my top favourite products. Why? Because beauty does not have to cost you your health!
My favourite brand of skin care products is Eminence Organic Skin Care. It does not matter what type of skin you have, they have the right product for you. I have personally been using their products for the last 4 years and I have benefited tremendously from using them consistently. I have personally spoken to one of their sales representatives and I was reassured that, as it is sated in their website, all of their products are free of perfume, fragrance, BPA, phthalates, parabens, glycol and sodium sulfate. I love that in some of their products you can actually spot pieces of blueberries, cranberries and other fruits that they use.
Eminence has a pretty large line of skincare products that vary from serums, to moisturizers, to lip and eye care, body scrubs and cosmetics too. Their products are definitely on the high end of pricing, but they way I see it, my health is worth the investment. If I am going to take the time to care for my skin, I may as well do it with products that are nurturing and not a threat to my overall health, and in particular, to the health of my eggs.
You can buy their products online or at a local high-end skin care spa in your city. If you happened to be in Ottawa, go check out Cocobella Spa, my favorite spot for a “me” day. It’s a place where you are made to feel pampered and so very relaxed from the moment you walk in. They introduced me to Eminence way before I knew I was going to experience fertility issues and I am very thankful for that. Not only do they offer every single service with Eminence products (that’s right, facials, manicures, pedicures, body wraps and even massages) but they also sell all of Eminence products right on site!! So, go pamper yourself.
NOW Products are also at the top of my list. I don’t currently take any of their supplements, which is what they are mostly known for, but I do buy and use their natural oils regularly. The truth is, whether you are ingesting products or slathering them on, they are making their way IN your body regardless. Take a look at the lotions that you currently rub all over your skin. Do they contain fragrance? Are they toxic? If so, you may want to do what I did and switch over your moisturizers to natural oils. NOW offers a variety to choose from. I am currently in love with their avocado oil. It comes in a BPA free and UV Protected container and it is easy to apply all over the body. I personally do it right after a shower to lock in the moisture that is already on my skin.
Your skin does not need all those extra ingredients that creams and lotions contain. I choose oils that come from foods. My thinking is that if I would have no problem eating them in my salad, then I have no problem putting them on my skin. Don’t forget that skin is the largest organ we have and all that it absorbs goes to your internal organs. So, if you would not want to ingest the lotion that you are currently using, you may want to reconsider putting it on your skin. When you ingest something, the toxins get filtered by the liver before they make their way around the body in the bloodstream. When you absorb toxins through your skin, however, they may travel through your body and organs such as the heart, lungs and even reproductive organs before they can be metabolized by the liver. Making sure that you are feeding your skin healthy oils is especially important while trying to conceive and during pregnancy.
NOW products are reasonably price and are found online, at most health stores and in some grocery stores. When buying a natural oil, the list of ingredients should be really short and you should be able to know what each ingredient is (unlike the long list of words nobody understands behind every bottle of body lotion).
I absolutely love make-up and always have! However, I have also always reacted to most products, which has lead me to live a life of very limited options when it comes to making my face look pretty. In my quest for natural make-up products, I came across what it now is my only source of make-up. Beauty Counter is an American company dedicated to making safe beauty products for women and I love supporting them. On their website you will find a section called “the never list” where they explain what ingredients they never use in their products. Beauty Counter’s mission is to offer safe products to consumers.
I have personally used the Beauty Counter foundation (which contains coconut oil as one of their main ingredients), lip gloss, eye shadows, mascara and eye liner. I have found all of those products to be extremely gentle on my already sensitive skin. When I wear them, my look is definitely more polished, yet it does not look over-done and fake. Beauty Counter products feel natural, which is aligned with my lifestyle.
I love Beauty Counter products not only because they are not diminishing my chances of motherhood, but also because I notice my skin still breathes even when I use the foundation. I notice my eye lids don’t dry out after a day of having eye shadow on my eyes. The mascara does not take hours to remove and the lip gloss does not make my lips itchy or dry.
The pricing of Beauty Counter products is comparable to that of other high-end make-up bands. You can buy the products online or through a consultant. I personally have a pal in the city who I support by ordering through her. I am sure you can find someone in your area but if you want to support my friend, here is how to connect with her: Cunningham.firstname.lastname@example.org
There are also a lot of toxic ingredients added to hair products, particularly in hairspray and shampoos. But, once again, we don’t have to compromise our health to have nice looking hair. In fact, the less you do to your hair, the happier it will be. Take it from me. I have spent the last 36 years with the same hair color I was born with! Well, that’s not entirely true. I did do highlights for my wedding in 2014, but nothing since. Healthy hair is usually the result of a clean diet, non-damaging products and of course, good genes.
But even if you think your hair needs the extra help of products, consider using some that are non-toxic. For dry and damage hair, the same oils that were mentioned above are a great solution. Regardless of the type of hair you have, really consider using shampoos and conditioners that do not impact your fertility and overall health.
Avalon Organics offers great shampoos and conditioners. I recently made the switch to them and I am really happy with the results. My hair is super shiny and softer. Avalon Organics do no use parabens, phthalates, harsh sulfates or synthetic fragrances in their products, which means you can wash your hair and not be worried about impacting the health of your eggs!! I visited their website and noticed that they offer more than just hair products. I would be open to trying their skin care line as well as their bath and body products.
You can buy Avalon Organics products online, in most health stores and in some grocery stores. You may think that the cost of their shampoo is higher than the regular toxic shampoo, however; I have noticed that I use far less Avalon Organics shampoo than regular, perhaps toxic shampoo, and my hair stays clean longer. In the end, I do not think we are actually paying more and even if we were, I am willing to pay a little extra for healthy products that do not contain ingredients that negatively impact my health and the health of my eggs.
As mentioned earlier, the use of plastic and BPA is particularly toxic to the fertility health of women and to the overall health of individuals. There is research corroborating that plastic is extremely toxic to our health, yet it is still a commonly used ingredient in many products including hygiene products such as the menstrual pads and tampons that women use every month.
In order to make periods less painful than they already are (specially when dealing with infertility), make sure that what you are using are eco-friendly and egg-friendly hygiene products. If the products you are currently using are 90% made of plastic, please, please, please do yourself and the environment a favor and switch to products that are 90 % made of cotton and paper.
I am very picky with what I use and I have to admit that for the majority of my adult life I have been using those feminine products that are made mostly of plastic and wrapped in plastic. It terrifies me to think that maybe some of my fertility struggles come from using plastic made pads and tampons that also contain chlorine. I know there is no point in looking back, so all I can do is move forward with smarter choices. Moving forward is how I came into contact with Natracare products.
Natracare is a company that is environmentally conscious and that also cares enough to produce products that will not impact the health of women negatively. I encourage you to give these products a try. Whether your flow is heavy or light, there is something in the Natracare line for you.
Natracare products are found in most health stores, grocery stores and also on some websites such as well.ca, iherb.com and Amazon.
I have struggled with finding a safe deodorant that has no aluminum, no phthalates, no fragrance/perfume and no glycol. There are a few out there that do meet those requirements but I am just going to tell you about HOLA.
I recently came across HOLA during a trip to Toronto and I am absolutely amazed by how great this deodorant works. It comes in a small glass container and the ingredient list only contains a few natural products. The one I bought it is a cream so it is applied like a cream (the only down side of it is that you have to use your fingers to apply it) but it smells amazing and, best part, it actually works!!!! Believe me, even after a sweaty yoga class or, a crazy intense strength training session, I smell like lavender!!!
You can buy this product directly from their website or in some specialty shops, though I am afraid that is a difficult find as the company is just starting to grow.
I hope you enjoy this brief list of products, if you have favs and want to share, please do not hesitate to email me! For more information on healthy products please visit:
About to go through an IVF treatment?
I know that’s a scary journey to embark on. So many things to consider and learn about, so many decisions to make…yet some of us have done it and several times!
I personally went through 3 unsuccessful rounds of IVF to finally having a 4th successful one. I wrote a mini-ebook to tell you all the things I did on the round that work.