Should you go Organic for Fertility?

allison's picture

There are so many things to consider with diet and fertility, and whether to make an effort to go organic is definitely another one deserving attention.


Organic produce is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or other artificial agents that conventional produce typically has. Some studies show that organic produce may have more nutrients and antioxidants than conventionally grown produce. Exposure to pesticides can have many negative health effects such as cancer, dermatitis, neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental effects, cancer, mental health disorders, birth defects, infertility and more.


A 2018 study in JAMA of 325 women going through IVF showed that women who ate more produce with pesticides had a 18% lower probability of clinical pregnancy and a 26% lower probability of live birth. In one study of 4,680 pregnant women, exposure to occupational chemicals while pregnant (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phthalates, alkylphenolic compounds and pesticides) negatively influenced fetal growth. There was a significant association between pesticide and phthalate exposure with a decreased placental weight.


What about men's fertility? One study found that men who ate more produce with pesticides had 49% lower sperm counts and 39% lower percentage of morphologically normal sperm. An intake of fruits and vegetables with low to moderate pesticide residue had a 169% higher total sperm count and a 173% increase in sperm concentration than men who ate produce with high levels of pesticides. 


Going organic can be expensive and overwhelming. Buying seasonal produce and sticking to the clean fifteen and dirty dozen can help simplify which produce is the most important to buy organic. Try growing your own herbs and fruits/veggies at home like cilantro, parsley, etc. Vary up your produce by buying what’s on sale that week and get creative with meal planning. A local CSA produce box or visiting a local farmers market can also increase affordability of organic produce, and it helps support local farms!


Unable to buy organic or find what you need in the organic section? Be sure to soak your conventionally grown produce for 10-15 minutes in a warm salt water solution (or vinegar-water or baking soda-water) or veggie cleaning liquid before consuming/storing. One study showed that washing produce with running water reduced the amount of pesticide residue for 9 out of the 12 tested pesticides. 


Interested in getting more individualized support for your fertility? Give us a call at 604-678-8600 or email us at to set up a free 15 minute discovery call. 





Should you go Organic for Fertility? TCM fertility Vancouver. Fertility clinic Vancouver BC.