Guidelines to be observed when you want baby by Prof. Oladapo Ashiru
Recently at a World Health Organisation conference of experts on infertility the following points were underscored.
Firstly, the United Nations General Assembly has concluded that wanting a baby is a human rights issue. Hence nations must do their best to provide access to infertility treatment to any deserving individual or couple. Secondly, that individual or couple desiring to have babies need to ensure that their body system is clean enough to go through conception. By this, individuals that are obese or overweighed need to lose at least five per cent of their body weight before attempting conception through the use of life style changes and dietary modifications. Also the use of available facilities that can help in this process and removal of body toxins have been advocated prior to conception.
The second recommendation is based on several studies and research. We now know that infertility is an alarming modern epidemic affecting more couples than ever. One out of six couples today experience difficulty in getting pregnant. What was once seen as a woman’s problem is now known to affect men equally. The natural approach to treating infertility solves the root causes of infertility by addressing all body systems rather than just focusing solely on the reproductive system.
Many couples that can’t become pregnant suffer from a combination of sub-clinical conditions. These conditions can’t cause infertility on their own but – in combination – they can substantially reduce a couple’s probability of conceiving. For example, gluten intolerance alone cannot cause infertility; however, the resulting inflammation in the gut can minimise your nutrient absorption and lead to deficiencies in nutrients you need for optimal sperm, egg and hormone production and a healthy pregnancy. Exposure to heavy metals, radiation, and toxic chemicals in some foods, drugs and other products can damage DNA. Recent nutrigenomic (a study of the effects of nutrients on gene expression) research suggests that what we eat can influence our gene structure and expression.
Minimize your exposure to toxic chemicals
Exposure to environmental toxins (in the form of industrial chemicals), both in utero and in neonatal period, may dramatically affect adult fertility. Most chemicals used in everyday life do not go through the same checks medicines do. Consequently, poisonous chemicals end up circulating in our environment, food supply, air and water.
The strongest evidence of heavy metals and environmental pollution adversely interfering with healthy reproductive function in women has been found for lead.
Other compounds that can alter hormone function and result in adverse reproductive health effects include:
- Ovotoxicants: Can disrupt the process or even stop ovulation.
- Endocrine disruptors: Can interfere with hormone function and cause endometriosis and PCOS polycystic ovarian disease). Some of these have been link to the presence of heavy metals in the body such as from consumption of large fish or stock fish.
- Phthalates: In plastic food containers, cling wrap, IV bags, medical supplies, vinyl flooring and packaging at high levels have been associated with miscarriage and testicular toxicity. At low levels they disrupt hormonal balance.
- Polyvinyl chloride chemicals: Used in rubber tires, plastics and pesticides.
- PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon): Released from cigarettes, car fumes and road tar
The top 6 environmental toxins to avoid:
- Pesticides: Found on non-organic fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy and unfiltered tap water
- Formaldehyde: Found in air fresheners, deodorants, floor polish, upholstery cleaners
- Bisphenols: Found in plastic containers and can leach into food and water.
- Organic solvents: Petroleum based liquids found in household products, electronics, car repair, health care, photography, agriculture, printing, construction and cosmetics, dry-cleaning chemicals paint fumes and many more. Occasional exposure to one or the other toxic chemical is not of concern. What is of concern is accumulation of these chemicals over a long period.
- Don’t drink unfiltered tap water. Our waterways are constantly being polluted by industrial waste and byproducts, pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides, herbicides and commercial cleaning products. There are many companies polluting the water regardless of the country you live in. Either there is no environmental law at all, or there are loopholes in the law or there is no law for the XYZ chemical getting into the water.
- Heavy metals are the most common of the reprotoxins reaching our water supply through industrial waste, jet fuel exhaust residue and a variety of other sources. Pharmaceutical drugs are commonly found in tap water. Seventy four per cent of the US population takes prescription drugs. Because the drugs do not metabolise fully, small quantities are excreted via feces and urine and flushed away.