What are Xenoestrogens?
Xeno comes from the Greek word for foreign, and xenoestrogens are environmental compounds such as plastics and certain foods that imitate estrogen in the body. These estrogen-producing substances can suppress gonadotrophins, or sex hormones and potentially have a negative impact on both male and female reproductive health – especially in estrogen-sensitive conditions such as endometriosis or adenomyosis.
Some of the main culprits to avoid are:

plastic cups and containers that are not BPA free • foods reheated in plastic or styrofoam containers • Shampoos, lotion, soaps, cosmetics, toothpastes that contain paraben or phenoxyethanol

It’s postulated that some phytoestrogens, or plant-based estrogens may be an age old mechanism of plants producing estrogen to fend off their herbivore predators by rendering them infertile. The following foods have naturally occurring estrogen and should be minimized while pursuing fertility treatment:

Lavender • Sage and rosemary • Red Clover • Alfalfa Sprouts • Tea tree oil (melaleuca) • Sunflower seeds and Sunflower oil • Pomegranate – The Greeks used this plant as a contraceptive • Dates • Fennel • Licorice • Oregano

You certainly don’t have to live in a bubble (especially a plastic bubble made from BPAs) to get pregnant, but being mindful of how much exposure you have to xenoestrogens may help to optimize your fertility pursuits.

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 contributed by Caylie See, L.Ac., FABORM