How BPA Impacts PCOS and Infertility (And What To Do About It)

Women with PCOS have higher levels of BPA. Learn how to decrease exposure to this estrogenic chemical.

What is BPA?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an environmental endocrine disruptor with estrogenic activity commonly found in plastics, water bottles, canned goods, receipts, and the packaging of our personal care products.

Research shows that BPA exposure alters the functioning of our reproductive, metabolic, and neuroendocrine systems. Specifically, even low levels of exposure have been linked to increased triglycerides, cholesterol, insulin resistance, and infertility. Sperm concentrations are continually decreasing, and evidence shows BPA may be contributing.

How Does BPA Affect PCOS?

PCOS is the leading cause of female anovulatory infertility. It also puts us at greater risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease.

A systematic review and meta-analysis reviewed 9 studies with a total of 493 women with PCOS and 440 women without PCOS as the control group. The researchers found that women with PCOS had increased amounts of BPA in their bodies. Eight of these studies assessed BPA in blood while one study assessed follicular fluid. These higher BPA levels were also associated with insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism (increased androgenic hormones like testosterone, body/facial hair, acne, etc).

So, what can we do about this? We can start with reducing exposure in our homes.

Steps to Reducing BPA Exposure

  1. Switch to glass containers instead of plastic. Even if a plastic container says “BPA-free” there are other chemicals used instead, so glass is altogether safer.
  2. Say no to receipts. If you work with receipts often, wear gloves.
  3. Limit canned goods. Most canned goods can be found in other forms of packaging.
  4. Switch to safer personal care products that are BPA-free.
How to Reduce BPA Exposure for Infertility and PCOS

What Do Personal Care Products Have to do with BPA?

BPA-polymers are known to be used in some cosmetic products, and more readily, in cosmetic containers. BPA in plastic containers can leach into our cosmetics, especially over time and when heated, thus further exposing ourselves through our skin. Much of what we put on our skin is absorbed and enters our bloodstream.

The cosmetic industry in both Canada and the U.S. is quite unregulated. Even though ~600 chemicals are banned from cosmetics here in Canada, Health Canada does not thoroughly check that each product on the market is compliant to the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist, unless a request is made. According to the Government of Canada’s website, “Health Canada will prioritize compliance and enforcement in response to the level of risk posed by a product and any complaints/incidents received.” PS. in the U.S., only ~30 of these chemicals are banned!

What do I use to avoid BPA?

I feel confident using Beautycounter cosmetics because they are a certified B corporation and exclude over 1,800 harmful and questionable chemicals from all their cosmetics, skincare, and all packaging, too! BPA is on this ‘Never List’. They also ensure all products are tested for heavy metals and then make this data available for the public. Transparency is critical in an unregulated industry, such as cosmetics.

Safe, Nontoxic Skincare and Makeup
Black Friday Sale: Nov. 16 – 29, 2020

SHOP BEAUTYCOUNTER SALE HERE

Email me if you would like guidance finding the right product for you.

In health,

Dr. Dylan Cutler, Ph.D.

Cosmetics and Skincare Products Are Health Hazards

We pay a lot of attention to what we put in our bodies, but what about everything that goes on our bodies?

Many commercial cosmetics and skincare products cause health problems, including cancers. These are absorbed through our largest organ, the skin. On average, women use products containing 168 ingredients a day.

As consumers we must protect the health and safety of us and our loved ones. We pay a lot of attention to what we put IN our bodies, but not much thought goes in to what we put ON our bodies.

What we put on our bodies, goes in our bodies.

Did you know that the European Union has banned or restricted the use of 1400 ingredients from products, while in the U.S. only 30 are banned?!

Cosmetics and Skincare are Harmful for Our Health

This means that in North America we are on our own in protecting ourselves from these harmful products.

To see which potentially dangerous products you and your family are using, I encourage you to check your products’ safety at Environmental Working Group.org . A quick search of most products in the database will pull up its safety rating, why it’s received that rating, and what it is doing to you. If you can’t find a product, email me and I will find out the details for you!

Fortunately, I discovered Beautycounter a year ago (I wish I had sooner!). These products are rigorously tested for safety and high-quality.

During my doctoral studies I was shocked to learn some scary information regarding environmental exposures and our health. I had no idea that everyday products, like shampoo, body wash, lotions, lipstick, etc., were likely impacting my hormones, periods, fertility, mood, metabolism, and increasing my risk of cancers (Journal of Environmental and Public Health 2012).

Especially as a woman with PCOS, my endocrine and reproductive systems are already in overdrive just to function. Then I was throwing in endocrine-disrupting chemicals which wreak hormonal havoc (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 2011).

I actually feel angry just thinking about the widespread use of these chemical-laden products, without any public education, discourse, or even warning labels.

Beautycounter provides me with comfort knowing I am using safer products. They exclude 1800 ingredients which have shown to be harmful, or don’t yet have enough data to be sure. As a result, I’ve recently become a Beautycounter consultant.

We believe in:

  • educating the public with evidence-based science,
  • urging governments to increase beauty industry regulations, and
  • producing safer products which don’t compromise quality
Safe, Nontoxic Skincare and Makeup
Black Friday Sale: Nov. 16 – 29, 2020

Shop BeautyCounter Here

If you have any questions or would like to chat about Beautycounter and our safer skincare and cosmetics, feel free to email me at drdylancutler@gmail.com.

In health,

Dr. Dylan Cutler, PhD

Pin for later