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099: Toxic Chemicals and Infertility

Environmental toxins are all around us in our day to day lives. From what we eat to what we breathe to what we put on our skin and hair, all of these chemicals impact reproductive health and fertility. On this episode, I speak with Dr. Lora Shahine on how to reduce environmental toxins from your life without feeling like you have to burn down your house to do it. If you are trying to conceive, this episode is a must listen.


Episode highlights...

  • How a traditionally trained reproductive endocrinologist became interested and passionate about the effects of environmental toxins on fertility

  • The first research studies showed the impact of BPA on egg quality and increased miscarriage rates. This effect transltes to humans too

  • Basic science and research shows the connection between environmental toxins and fertility but the message is not out there.

  • The three main typs of toxins to avoid

  • BPA and plastics

  • pesticides

  • phthalates

  • Dr. Shahine reviews a recent study conducted that shows a connection between endometriosis and phthalates

  • What to do if eating organic is too expensive and how you can limit your exposure to pesticides still

  • The transgenerational impact of DES, a pesticied that was used as an endocrine disruptor and estrogen mimicker in pregnancy in the previous generation

  • Dr. Shahine shares the massive amounts of research that connects BPA to poor fertility outcomes including

  • lower egg quality

  • lower sperm quality

  • lower sperm count

  • increased miscarriage rates

  • lower IVF success rates

  • The number one thing Dr. Shahine recommends when it comes to plastic food containers

  • The beauty industry is not well regulated and phthalates are in a wide range of products most men and women use even though there's a tremendous impact on fertility for both men and women.

  • Phthalates hide in ingredients like "Fragrance"

  • The website and app Dr. Shahine recommends downloading to help you find phthalate-free products when you go shopping

  • Does tech really impact sperm and egg quality as much as media wants us to believe?

  • Dr. Shahine gives practical advice on how to deal with the overwhelm of removing toxins from your home

If you’re trying to get pregnant, especially if it’s taking longer than you’d expected, look at how you can improve your environment. What’s around you, what you breathe in, what you put on your body is just as important at helping you get pregnant as what you put IN your body with food. Small changes can go a long way!

Resources from the show...

  • Visit Dr. Lora Shahine's website.

  • Connect with Dr. Shahine on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

  • Read Dr. Shahine's book on environmental toxins (Read now)

  • For more information on environmental toxins in beauty products visit

  • Lifestyle and wellness support to help you get pregnant as quickly as possible (Apply now)

  • Get your copy of Pregnancy Brain: A Mind-Body Approach to Stress Management During a High-Risk Pregnancy (Read Now)

  • Stay in touch with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram

About the Guest

Dr. Lora Shahine completed her residency in OBGYN at the University of California in San Francisco and fellowship in reproductive endocrinology at Stanford University. She is currently the Director of the Recurrent Pregnancy Program at Pacific NW Fertility and clinical faculty at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is an author of both clinical research trials, multiple blogs, and 2 books, 'Planting the Seeds of Pregnancy: An Integrative Approach to Fertility Care’ and ‘Not Broken: An Approachable Guide to Miscarriage and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss.’

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