Preparing for Pregnancy; Avoiding Toxins That Can Affect Fertility | Erica Hoke, Fertility Coach

Preparing for Pregnancy; Avoiding Toxins That Can Affect Fertility | Erica Hoke, Fertility Coach
If you're trying to get pregnant, it's important to avoid toxins that can affect your fertility. Unfortunately, these toxins are everywhere – from the foods we eat to the products we use! But don't worry, I'm here to help. In this post, I'll share some tips on how to prepare for pregnancy and avoid these harmful toxins. Thanks for reading!

The easiest way to impact your toxin load is to switch your laundry products for ones that are “green”. You can’t trust that because a brand is labeled -dye free & fragrance free it’s a good choice. Look up the detergent on ewg.org to determine its rating (red/ yellow/green) and don’t assume because one product in a brand is clean that the others are also. If it has a fragrance listed and it’s on a store shelf it 100% is synthetic (even If it says “with essential oils” and should be avoided.)

Toothpaste is another product that has a BIG impact on health as your mouth is a mucus membrane (which means it’s a super highway to your bloodstream). Three ingredients to avoid in toothpaste are sodium lauryl sulphate, triclosan and fluoride. Yes, I said it. Avoid fluoride. Fluoride is classified as a neurotoxin and has a HUGE impact on your health. If your surprised, I encourage you to do your own research.
Avoid personal care products (makeup, deodorant, body wash, shampoos) that have any of the following ingredients.
  1. Sodium lauryl sulphate
  2. triclosan
  3. propylene glycol (PEG’s), pluronic
  4. phthalates
  5. parabens
While we’re talking about personal care… I have to just throw this in here! You have to switch out your deodorant for a NON aluminum/anti-perspirant. Metals are known hormone disruptors in both women and men with aluminum being shown to impact all areas of sperm quality. This is a tough one for most people and deserves its own blog-coming soon!

While we’re talking about removing toxins you might be shocked to know that popular-in-the-infertility- world lubricants contain chemicals that are known to reduce sperm motility and in some cases side affects include vaginal bleeding. Avoid products with ingredients such as poly sorbate-80 or hydroxyethyl-cellulose a thickening agent in lubricants and cosmetics.

The bottom line is ..all of these chemicals add up and affect your body in various ways. It’s true that for some people they don’t cause issues, but if you’re reading this and challenged with infertility, I’m guessing that you’re going to need to support your body differently. These chemicals affect your gut biome (which is SO important to fertility) disrupts your hormones (clearly a problem) and also affects your endocrine system which is equally as important as your hormone health.

Are you looking to avoid toxins that have a big impact? Check out our list of the top six toxins to avoid. These include sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, poly-sorbate-80, phthalates and parabens, propylene glycol. Be sure to also watch out for these chemicals in your laundry products, toothpaste, lubricants, and personal care products like body washes. Each of these toxins can affect gut health, disrupt hormones and disrupt thyroid/endocrine systems. Need help making changes? Accelerate your Fertility Boot Campis 12 weeks to maximize your chance of getting pregnant or staying pregnant – start by avoiding these harmful toxins!
 

What if I can't do IVF? But I want to get pregnant...

What if I can't do IVF? But I want to get pregnant...
Hopeless.
That’s how most women who can’t do IVF feel when they realize that’s their next step, or even worse they are told it’s their first step. If your one of the millions of women who are dealing with infertility, I’m here to tell you that not being able to do IVF is not a dead end on the road to fertility (like you’ve likely been told) Nor is it a hopeless situation if you don’t have the finances to fund ART (applied reproductive technology treatment).

Just because you are not a candidate for IVF doesn’t mean you can’t change your overall health. Yes- even IF – you have endometriosis, PCOS, uterine fibroids, blocked tubes, low AMH, DOR, thyroid issues, factor 5 Leiden, MTHFR and are over the age of 35. How do I know? Because I had 7 of the diagnosis on that list, and I was still able to get pregnant 4 TIMES after being told that I would need donor eggs. Just in case your thinking LUCK! Don’t fool yourself. One-time would-be luck but clearly to have that much luck would be like hitting the lottery 4 times.

Be empowered. The good news is you have way more control over your health and fertility you’re your led to believe. Overall health is the goal and pregnancy is the outcome. Even with seven diagnosis I STILL would have told you that I was “pretty healthy” but my body was telling a different story. I made as many diet and lifestyle changes as I could, as fast as possible. You can check out another blog about what changes I made to get pregnant HERE.


In the end had I not gotten pregnant I would have considered donor eggs. If this is something you’re considering and want to read someone’s personal story and be able to connect with them, check out “Infertility Success, Stories of Help and Hope for Your Journey" .Both Constance Lewis and Laura Watson were able to get to the family of their dreams using donor eggs. They both have resources at the end of their chapters to help you move forward on your journey.


Embryo adoption is a process where couples or individuals who are struggling with infertility adopt an embryo that has been created and stored at a fertility clinic. This option is becoming more popular as more people are becoming aware of it and as the technology surrounding fertility treatments improves. There are two main types of embryo adoption: open and closed. In an open adoption, the couple or individual knows who the donor is and may even have contact with them. In a closed adoption, the identity of the donor is kept anonymous. Couples or individuals can also choose embryos based on gender and other genetic factors. Embryo adoption is a great option for couples or individuals who are struggling with infertility because it allows them to experience pregnancy. It is also much cheaper than other fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). If you are struggling with infertility, embryo adoption may be a good option for you to consider.

Brandi Bunda: A Second Chance at Motherhood

Brandi Bunda: A Second Chance at Motherhood

I grew up in a single-parent home with an incarcerated father, which brought about its own set of challenges and hardships. I was a typical little girl, playing house, pretending to be a mom, and caring for my life-like babies. I was naturally the nurturing type. I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but I never imagined it would happen at such a young age. Shockingly, I was in junior high when I became pregnant after having sex for the very first time. I was 14 years old.
Figuring out how to raise and financially support another human was scary, daunting, and, honestly, didn’t seem possible. Without any support from my family, there was no way I could do it on my own, so my mom drove me to a clinic in a neighboring state, and I had an abortion. I was 12 weeks pregnant. I have a hole in my heart that only that baby can fill, and the pain, shame, and guilt still haunt me today.
I know my life would have been so different as a teen mom. Around the same time, I got to witness the struggle and sacrifice first-hand when one of my closest friends also became pregnant. She had the support of her family, went through with her pregnancy, and raised her baby. Walking that journey alongside her was a constant reminder of what I had done and the baby I didn’t have.
I graduated high school with honors and headed off to college, where I met my husband. We dated for 5 years before getting married. Shortly after we got married in 2010, I embarked on somewhat of a wellness journey when I started working for a holistic supplement company in the animal health industry. I became inundated with learning about preventative health and natural wellness, for both pets and people.
After waiting a year and a half, we wanted to start a family, I was 29 at the time. So, I stopped taking birth control, ditched the Adderall, cut out soda, and started taking a prenatal vitamin daily.
Sadly, five months into my fertility journey, my dad got diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I became his primary caregiver and together we made dietary and lifestyle changes to improve our health. We started buying more organic meats and veggies, choosing non-GMO products, eating less packaged food, and cutting down on processed sugar. We were more intentional with taking our supplements every day and were introduced to the world of essential oils and aromatherapy.
Surprisingly, two weeks after my dad finished his last day of treatment, we found out we were pregnant! We were ecstatic and over the moon with excitement! Having just gone through one of the toughest seasons of our entire lives, this news was such a blessing. We quickly made a doctor’s appointment to get confirmation, and the day we heard the heartbeat for the very first time, I experienced a wave of unexplainable joy and gratitude. I thanked Jesus repeatedly for hearing and answering our prayers.
We went out to eat with some family members to celebrate, but our celebration was short-lived. Not long after getting home from the restaurant, I started cramping and passing small blood clots in our bathroom. I had never experienced a miscarriage before, so I was unsure if that’s what was happening. I retrieved the clots from the toilet and we rushed to the hospital. After being admitted, an ultrasound confirmed there was no heartbeat. I was sent home to rest, get comfortable, and wait for my body to stop bleeding, which could take at least a week or more. The thought of having a miscarriage never really crossed my mind. We were completely devastated and with broken hearts, we buried our baby under the old bodark tree, not far from our dog, Bit-Bit, who had passed away earlier that year. It was a sad and difficult time, to say the least. If I’m being really honest, at that moment, I questioned whether I was even worthy of being a mom…

read more of Brandi’s chapter 

Exclusive Interview with Brandi HERE



I Can Get Pregnant, But I Can't STAY Pregnant- 5 Tests to Test For

I Can Get Pregnant, But I Can't STAY Pregnant- 5 Tests to Test For
If you're experiencing recurrent miscarriages, it's important to get to the bottom of what's causing them. Here are three tests you should ask your doctor to run.
Read more...

How to Get Pregnant Faster After 35- 5 Tips

How to Get Pregnant Faster After 35- 5 Tips
Are you having trouble getting pregnant after 35? You're not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 10 women in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a baby to term. But don't worry – there are plenty of things you can do to increase your chances of getting pregnant faster. We'll discuss some tips in 3 key areas, Detox, Heal, and Empower- that should help you conceive quicker.

1. Talk to your doctor about your fertility concerns- If you feel brushed off, are not getting the answers you feel you deserve or want a practitioner with a more aggressive approach I STRONLY recommend getting a second opinion. Be empowered to ask questions about what a reasonable next step or next test would be. No doctor is going to care as much about your health and fertility as you and your partner. And that's OKAY. Just ask. 

2. Reduce toxins in as many areas as you can. Water, diet and personal care products are all at the top of the list. Reduce the amount of processed food you eat, switch to organic as much as your budget will allow, find green(er) personal care products (soaps, lotions, make-up) and avoid fragrance when possible. These small steps might not seem like they can make a big impact but in some women (like me) it makes a HUGE difference.

3. Take prenatal vitamins to ensure you're getting all the nutrients you need BUT not any prenatal is a good choice. Make sure the prenatal is from whole food sources, contains folate (not folic acid) is NOT a gummy (lead, poor quality) and is dye free.

4. Reduce stress levels as much as possible. Can I just say it? INFERTILITY is STRESSFUL! There's no way around it so let's call out the elephant in the room and get some tools in our toolbox so that we can do a better job at helping ourselves, protecting our relationships and cope better so that we can continue. 

5. Consider using natural methods to boost fertility, such as acupuncture or herbs. If you have an irregular cycle, no cycle, want to support your IUI/IVF transfer or want to support your natural fertility acupuncture is for you. There's a ton of research about how acupuncture along side these other treatments increases positive outcomes. Depending on your symptoms the protocol can be between 1-3 times per week. Make sure you find a doctor of acupuncture that specializes in infertility. 

If you’re looking to increase your fertility, detoxing and reducing stress are two great places to start. There are many ways to detox, but we recommend starting with a gentle cleanse that focuses on whole foods and plenty of fluids. And don’t forget to reduce stress in your life – this can be done through EFT, AFT, visualization, affirmations, meditation, yoga, grounding or simply taking time for yourself each day. Are you ready to get started? Accelerate Your  Fertility Boot Camp can help you optimize your fertility and live with more peace while your doing it. 
 
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