The Link between Placental Genes & Chemical Exposure

If you are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant, you have likely already put a great deal of thought into what products to avoid to ensure the healthiest pregnancy possible. According to a recent study, many of the products that individuals use each day contain chemicals that alter the genes in the placenta – the uterine sac that enables oxygen and waste transportation, while keeping the fetus safe. Taking the time to educate yourself about toxic materials and what to avoid while you are pregnant will help ensure a safe pregnancy.

What is the Placenta and What Does it Do?

Attached to the uterine wall, the placenta is the organ that forms the umbilical cord and supports your growing baby by providing essential nutrients and removing waste from the baby’s blood. A healthy placenta is essential to a healthy, growing baby.

How are Chemicals Involved?

According to a recent study, exposure to some chemicals can cause genes in a woman’s placenta to change, which can impair proper growth and development of the fetus. This is especially concerning during the early stages of pregnancy when the fetus obtains the hormones it needs to develop directly from the placenta.

What Should You Avoid?

Researchers identified two chemicals as posing a risk to pregnant women: phenols and phthalates. These chemicals are found in many household goods and cosmetics.

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Phthalates can be found in perfume, hair spray, deodorant, scented cosmetics, and household cleaners (air freshener, laundry soap, etc.), nail polish, plastic toys, carpeting, and other items containing soft plastic. Products containing phenols include household cleaning agents and disinfectants, mouthwashes, gargles, and throat sprays.

How Can I Avoid these Products?

It may seem overwhelming when you realize that there are chemicals in most of the products you use daily. The first step to avoid dangerous chemicals is not to stress unnecessarily. The human body has a way of breaking down many chemicals before they can harm us.

While it’s true that phenols and phthalates are in many products, it’s also true that more individuals, both pregnant and not, make a conscious effort to avoid anything with unnecessary chemicals. This has motivated many manufacturers to develop chemical-free alternatives. For example, it’s now easy to find clearly labeled, “BPA free” food and drink containers that are not manufactured with phthalates.

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To take advantage of chemical free alternatives, start by reading labels. Avoid products clearly marked as containing chemicals and research or ask your doctor about products that you think might threaten your pregnancy or fertility health. It’s a good practice to simply avoid scented cosmetics or household cleaners, as these almost always contain phthalates. While pregnant, you may want to consider ordering some of these products from a natural product provider for added peace of mind.

As more research is being done, it is becoming much more evident the effects toxins and chemicals have on the safety of pregnancy and increased infertility. With some research, the advice of your doctor and minimal effort, you can easily make the changes necessary for a safe pregnancy and healthy child. Take the time to talk to one of the experienced and highly knowledgeable medical professionals at Red Rock Fertility about the possible risks of chemical exposure on your pregnancy.

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