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Household Cleaning Products and Fertility

Here’s yet another reason to avoid housework: common household cleaners can affect male and female fertility. Here’s how cleansers, home repairs, and decorating can affect your chances of getting pregnant…

Before the tips, a quip:

“I’m not going to vacuum until Sears makes one you can ride on,” said Roseanne Barr.

It’s not vacuuming that’s the problem for couples coping with infertility…it’s some household cleaning products and environmental toxins. For tips for getting pregnant, read Getting Pregnant: What You Need to Know Right Now by Dr Niels Lauersen and Colette Bouchez. And, read on for info on how home repairs and household cleansers affect fertility.

How Household Cleansers Affect Getting Pregnant

“Evidence continues to mount that some of the most common products used in the home every day can have cumulative detrimental effects on reproductive health, particularly if other fertility factors are present, such as endometriosis or a hormone imbalance,” write Lauersen and Bouchez in Getting Pregnant.

Chemicals lurking in common household cleansers affect fertility by increasing exposure to chemicals, which also increase the risk of pregnancy loss.

The most damaging household cleansers:

  • Rug or upholstery shampoo
  • Furniture polish
  • All-purpose cleaners
  • Bug sprays
  • Bathroom cleaners
  • Room deodorizers

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, many homes contain levels of pollutants that are 3 to 5 times higher than outside. “Chemicals lurking in a wide variety of household products caused a 33% decrease in the ability to conceive,” write Lauersen and Bouchez, who cite a study from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Australia. Common household cleaners are among many Living With Infertility.

How to Choose Cleaners That Don’t Affect Fertility

Go organic and nontoxic when you’re buying cleaning products. Try Bon Ami, Oxi-Clean – there are dozens of healthy, organic, nonhazardous household cleansers that won’t affect your fertility, health and wellness.

Remember that the negative effects of household cleansers on fertility are cumulative, which means they build up over time. If you have to use traditional cleaners, do so sparingly. Keep your windows and doors open during and after your housecleaning if possible, and avoid directly breathing in the most damaging cleaners.

How Home Decorating and Repair Products Affect Fertility

Paint thinners, paint fumes, paint strippers, and glycol ethers can all negatively affect fertility – and they can increase your risk for miscarriage if you’re pregnant. Household glues and oil paints can also be toxic, and have cumulative, long-lasting negative effects on both male and female fertility levels.

“This is particularly true if you’re already having problems conceiving,” write Lauersen and Bouchez.

If any household cleansers or home decorating or repair products smell strong and offensive, you should avoid them – especially if you’re trying to get pregnant. “This is true for odors coming from new carpets or furniture, particularly if it contains particle board and is emitting formaldehyde gases,” write these fertility specialists.

Lauersen and Bouchez recommend getting your home repairs out of the way at least three months before trying to conceive, and avoiding home repairs while you’re pregnant.

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For tips on fertility for pregnancy, read Before You Take Fertility Supplements to Get Pregnant.

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