Can Pesticides Hurt Pregnancy Chances?

Here is a disturbing study for those who are trying to get pregnant. A new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine has found that consuming fruits and vegetables high in pesticide residue is associated with a lower chance of pregnancy and a higher risk of pregnancy loss. Dr. Yu-Han Chiu, a research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and first author of the study explains.

As she said,

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“There have been concerns for some time that exposure to low doses of pesticides through diet, such as those that we observed in this study, may have adverse health effects, especially in susceptible populations such as pregnant women and their fetus, and on children. Our study provides evidence that this concern is not unwarranted.”
The study included 325 women between 18 and 45 who were under the care of a doctor for infertility treatment at the Massachusetts General Hospital. They found that women who ate 2.3 servings or more of high-pesticide-residue fruits and vegetables had 18% lower chance of getting pregnant and 26% lower chance of giving birth to a live baby.

As Dr. Chiu explained, “A reasonable choice based on these findings is to consume low-pesticide-residue fruits and vegetables instead of high-pesticide-residue ones. Another option is to go organic for the fruits and vegetables known to contain high pesticide residues. It is very important to keep in mind that, as far as we are aware, this is the first time that this association is reported, so it is extremely important that our findings are replicated in other studies.”

Certainly, there were limitations to the study and more investigative work is necessary.