BPA: The Fertility Killer (And Where You Probably Don't Know You're Exposed To It)
Is BPA Bad for Trying to get Pregnant?
I don't mean to insult intelligence here because I'm sure you know by this point that BPA is bad. You've no doubt avoided bottled water, upgraded your Tupperware, microwaved with glass (or ditched the microwave altogether). TTC or not, the world is slowing coming around to the Mason Jar manifesto, and joining in on the BPA witch hunt. We want to make sure our fertility-focused ladies are taking extra precautions, and identifying lesser known places BPA might be lurking (TRUST- even we were shocked).
Multiple studies have shown that BPA (Bisphenol A) is an ovarian, prostate, and uterine toxicant, and responsible for compromising egg quality and implantation success for in vitro fertilization (IVF).* It's like...the worst thing ever. BPA is used in the manufacturing of plastics, the lining of most cans, which leach into your food (beer to beans), bottle tops and receipt paper.** Yeah, we didn't know either.
Bisphenol A is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that can enter the body by being inhaled, ingested, or absorbed by the skin. Endocrine disruptors are known to interfere with the body's functions by mimicking or blocking essential hormones. As you ladies know, messing with hormones is the ultimate "oh hell nah" of TTC.
In a California-based study, 26 women undergoing IVF were monitored as their BPA blood levels doubled. The result? The percentage of eggs that normally fertilized were reduced by 50%.*** Previous animal studies had concluded that BPA altered egg DNA, so the evidence extending this to human reproduction is monumental, and a giant call-to-arms.
Many companies are hopping on the "BPA-Free" bandwagon as you well know, and our ovaries thank them. Who's not making the cut? (hipsters prepare yourselves...) La Croix sparkling water, who discloses on their website that "can linings may contain trace amounts of BPA to prevent spoilage and protect food and beverages from direct contact with the can..."**** We should have known that the effervescent zero-calorie amazingness was too good to be true.
Don't microwave plastic food containers, don't use plastics with recycle codes 3 or 7 at the bottom (may be made with BPA), reduce or remove use of canned foods and beverages, opt for glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers. E-receipts when possible to avoid contact with thermal receipt paper (it's a pain and you might get a butt-load of marketing emails but aren't your eggs worth it?). For more fertility killers to cut out reference our list here.
Be an activist and call your favorite brands, ah hem, La Croix, and tell them you demand them to switch to BPA free cans (they exist, I've noticed a few popping up recently at Whole Paychecks). Check out this download listing the brands found with heavy BPA.
THE NITTY GRITTY
*Peretz J, Vrooman L, Ricke WA, Hunt PA, Ehrlich S, Hauser R, Padmanabhan V, Taylor HS, Swan SH, VandeVoort CA, Flaws JA. 2014. Bisphenol A and reproductive health: update of experimental and human evidence, 2007–2013. Environ Health Perspect 122:775–786; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1307728