Bisphenol-A (BPA) continues to makes headlines in regards to hormonal health and fertility. A Harvard study found an association between BPA exposure and a reduced number of eggs produced. Of the 137 women studied, 90% of them were found to have detectable amounts of BPA and there was an increased chance of implantation failure in women with higher levels of urinary BPA concentrations.
I think BPA expsosure is an important consideration for those undergoing IVF and an effort should be made to avoid it (and other xenoestrogens) before undergoing IVF.
What is BPA and where is it found?
BPA is found in hard, clear plastics, most commonly labelled with the the #7 recycling symbol. It can also be found in:
- thermal paper receipts
- canned food (found in the lining unless labelled “BPA free”)
- Most clear plastics unless labelled otherwise.
The EWG is a wealth of information about BPA and its effects on health.
What can I do to reduce my exposure and limit the effects of BPA?
The most important thing to do is limit exposure to BPA.
- Choose glass or stainless steel over plastic. Be careful of some metal containers as they plastic have a plastic liner.
- Don’t use canned foods, unless they are “BPA free”. Eden organics is the only brand I know of that is available in Halifax / Dartmouth.
- Don’t take receipts unless you need to, and wash your hands promptly after touching a thermal paper receipt. Some receipts contain 250 to 1,000 times the amount of BPA typically found in a can of food.
How long does it take to reduce detectable amounts of BPA? The good news is that the body actually eliminates BPA quite effeciently once exposure has been reduced.
A recent study found that participants were able to reduce the levels of BPA in their body by 66% in three days just by avoiding packaged foods.
This study found similar results for pthalates, which also have estrogen mimicking effects.
So, if you are planning to undergo IVF, it’s probably a good idea to remove sources of BPA from your diet and lifestyle.