3 things in your home that could be making your hormones unhappy

WORDS | Alyce Cimino

We often think that health is all about making big bold changes but really its about making many small choices over the course of the day, week and month. These 3 big things have an accumulative effect on the body and overtime can negatively affect our endocrine system and hormonal response.

As a female, we want to limit exposure as much as possible, making small changes to have big impact. From a fertility perspective we know that these 3 things have a negative role on fertility outcomes and semen health. So, let’s look at what we can change at home!

    If you can smell a room air freshener, then it has the potential to harm your long-term hormonal health. We know that while these products are used to mask undelightful smells and are marketed to simply “freshen” a room, they also provide a consistent release of airborne chemicals into the air. These volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes are then floating around your room to breathe in all day and night.

    While we note general air fresheners/fragrances, items such as sheet fresheners, toilet spray, diffusers, and even some essential oils and incense sticks are also included in this category.

    We really don’t know what the long-term effects of these products are, and when one product can have over 100 different fragrances in it to establish that one smell we really don’t know their accumulative effect. What we do know is that these products can cause long-term havoc on our hormones, interestingly many IVF clinics have a total ban on their staff wearing perfumes due to the negative effects they have on hormones and even egg/sperm health.

    The best way to freshen a room is to open a window!

    It’s well known that plastic containers, cookware, plastic wrap etc are not beneficial for the environment, they are also bad news for our hormones. Long-term the chemicals found in plastic can leach into the food we are eating, these microplastics end up being transferred into our food and us when we eat it. Microplastics have been found in human lungs, digestive systems, breastmilk even in birthed placentas! while they aren’t completely avoidable, we can limit our exposure as much as possible.

    There is also a huge amount of research around BPA/BPS which is commonly found in plastics and their long term interference role on the endocrine system and hormone production.

    Each with their a unique formula with its specific role, yet it also means that each and everyone have their own chemical load. I remember years ago a lecture mentioned that using Windex for 5 minutes was able to change the microbiome for 8 hours! that is huge! when we are using a product daily, to wipe down benches, wash our clothes etc it will also end up ingested a little or have physical contact with our skin.

    Where possible you want to go for the least chemical option, this may be using conventional products but go for the no fragrance option or it may mean ditching the chemical choice all together and go for the lowtox option. A great way to do this, is to swap out the item one by one as you refill.

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