Organic is always good, but how do pesticides affect IVF?
Trying to get pregnant? A healthy, balanced diet is always the way to go. But recent research is suggesting that eating more fruits and veggies might not actually work in our favour for in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).
More specifically, it’s the fruit and veggies with high levels of pesticides that may negatively impact their reproductive chances.
The study about how pesticides affect IVF
In the study, 325 women who were using assisted reproductive technologies to get pregnant. They shared details via a questionnaire about their diets and included information such as their age, weight and history of pregnancy, all of which can affect the success rate of IVF. (This is the secret to cleaning pesticides off fruit without affecting the nutrients.)
The researchers compared the women’s dietary responses with the U.S. government database that logs the average pesticide residue on fruit and vegetables to figure out how much pesticide the women have been consuming.
Fruits and vegetables can vary in how much pesticide residue they contain; for example, strawberries and spinach are typically high in pesticide residue, whereas avocados tends to have less residue. (Did you know that how you store your fruits and vegetables can affect their nutrition?)
Women with high exposure (that is they ate on average more than two servings of high-pesticide produce daily) were 18 per cent less likely to get pregnant and 26 per cent less likely to have a live birth compared to those with the lowest exposure (these were women who ate an average of one serving a day of high-pesticide produce).
The wrong thing to do would be to swear off produce. Instead keep eating healthy nutritious foods, and check our list for the foods with the highest levels of pesticides.