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Should I Do A Fertility "Detox" Cleanse?

Should I do the fertility cleanses I see on Instagram and TikTok?

Unlearn This Mindset: “Fertility Detox = Cleanses”

Unfortunately, research consistently shows that toxins and chemicals in our everyday life can harm our fertility. Social media “fertility detox” trends can be tempting, since they offer a quick fix to this scary reality. There are hundreds of fertility teas, liver detoxes, and crazy diets — usually peddled by people who are trying to sell you something and convince you that this will get you pregnant.

But this portrayal of detoxification as a magic bullet is largely misconstrued, sometimes dangerous, and predatory on people trying to concieve. So, our take is to skip these fertility detoxes. The body's natural detoxification systems are highly efficient and don't require extreme interventions. Plus, these kinds of detox cleanses don’t impact the cellular level at which toxins impact fertility. They can also be dangerous (hello liver “cleanse”!).

So, let’s unlearn the idea that detoxing for fertility is about drastic measures with rapid results.

Relearn: Detox By Reducing Chemical Exposure Over Time

It's a thoughtful and gradual process of minimizing your exposure to substances that can potentially disrupt hormonal balance and reproductive health. By redefining detox in this way, you empower yourself to make sustained lifestyle changes that promote fertility and overall well-being.

Here are 3 easy ways to approach detoxing instead:

  1. Focus on repeated exposures rather than one-offs. Lighting a candle for a special occasion won’t impact your fertility, but lighting candles every night might. One-off exposures are not as much of an issue as the chronic, or over time ones. This means focusing on products that are part of your daily routine or pollutants that you’re often exposed to, rather than worrying about every single little thing. Again, the 80/20 rule is a good way to approach toxins.
  2. Make small changes & slow swaps: If you’re feeling overwhelmed by where to begin, start with the products you need to buy more of next. If you’re out of shampoo, try to find one that follows the fertility-friendly guidelines we’ll cover in the coming lessons. You don’t need to go cold turkey or completely overhaul your routine (though you can do that too if you want). You can choose how aggressive you want to be with these changes based on your personal journey. Since you already have your top changes, focusing on those will be more impactful than stressing about eliminating every chemical exposure overnight.
  3. Use trusted shortcuts. We would highly recommend avoiding Dr. Google or Reddit. Doing research on every product or pollutant is an impossible task, and you’ll get conflicting information (and likely feel more anxious) if you go down the Google rabbit hole. Buy back your time and lower stress by using trusted short cuts.
  • Doveras members get personalized recs for their highest impact exposure sources, as well as The Fertility Dirty Dozen, a list of the top everyday sources of chemicals harmful for fertility. Even just focusing on this list will get you most of the way there.

  • Look up the toxicity profile of specific brands using EWG’s Skin Deep database.

  • Our friends at Haldi offer a free skincare audit to help you prep your daily routine for when you become pregnant. Check them out!

Relearn: Sustained Lifestyle > Crash Detox

We've looked at tens of thousands of fertility studies and the findings are less simple: consistent behavior modification targeted at supporting your underlying fertility is the approach that is most likely to help you achieve pregnancy success. We know it's less sexy than a "fertility liver detox."

But our goal at Doveras is to help our members focus on what the latest clinical data shows is going to be most effective for you. Spoiler: it's not going to be a fertility tea.

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