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Are these household products decreasing your chances of getting pregnant?


We all know the basic dos and don’ts of trying for a baby: do eat a balanced diet, exercise, and keep your stress levels down; don’t smoke or drink excessively. But here’s a new “don’t” to add to the list – you’ll want to avoid using certain household products, because research shows that coming into contact with these items may actually decrease your chances of getting pregnant.

How do household products decrease your chance of getting pregnant?

In a nutshell: many household products contain organophosphate flame retardants (also known as PFRs), and this study in the Environmental Health Perspectives indicates that PFRs aren’t conducive to women attempting to get pregnant.

In this study, researchers looked at urine samples of over 200 women who had undergone IVF. Here’s what they found: women whose urine contained higher concentrations of PFRs were 10% less likely to undergo a successful fertilization. That’s not all – these women were also 31% less likely to have their embryos implant, 41% less likely to have pregnancies confirmed by a heartbeat on an ultrasound, and 38% less likely to have live births.

What specific household products should women avoid?


As a general rule of thumb, PFRs are typically found in cleaning products, upholstered furniture, car seats, mattress pads, and other household products containing polyurethane foam. Here’s where things get complicated: you never know for sure when you’re exposed to PFRs – because products which contain these chemicals don’t come with labels disclosing the ingredients.

Plus: it’s not just women who should avoid household products containing PFRs – the same applies to men. Whilst PFRs affect women’s fertility by interfering with their thyroid and sex hormones, they also lower sperm count in men.

Should you start purchasing organic household products?

Whilst your first instinct might be to switch to organic household products, unfortunately, this won’t help. According to the study’s lead author, Courtney Carignan, many problematic solvents found in household products are “technically” organic, and can be branded as such.


Here’s what you should do instead: clean your house with all-natural ingredients, such as baking soda and vinegar. For an all-purpose cleaner, simply combine half a cup of vinegar and a quarter cup of baking soda with 2 litres of water. You can keep this solution, and use it as and when you need to clean your windows, bathroom mirrors, bathroom fixtures, and more.

Fertility consultation with BeNatural’s fertility coach, Marie Otsuka

If you and your partner would like to learn more about conceiving, come down for a 45-minute consultation with Marie Otsuka, BeNatural’s fertility coach. In this session, Marie will seek to understand the couple’s situation, and offer insights she’s gained through her 10 years of experience in working with infertile Singaporeans. Slots are limited and on a first come first serve basis; contact us here to schedule an appointment!

+65 3165 2202

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