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Toxins To Avoid Before Getting Pregnant: The Functional Medicine Toronto View


If you plan on conceiving, you should know that our functional medicine Toronto providers offer a personalized approach to fertility issues. 

Family planning can be an individualistic experience. One thing that functional medicine patients should know is that measures can be taken to promote a healthy conception; this includes being aware of substances known to trigger infertility and chronic health conditions. 

Female infertility can occur from a wide range of reasons; some of these include toxins scattered in your soil, water and air. “Certain environmental toxins contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals that can interfere with [female fertility] by acting on steroid receptors as both agonists and antagonists, thus disrupting hormone biosynthesis, signaling, and metabolism,” explains a BC Medical Journal article. 

Avoiding these substances may be worthwhile if pregnancy is part of your agenda. But what are these toxins? And how can you remove them from your body prior to conceiving? The Toronto Functional Medicine Centre lists these substances and how we offer optimal wellness support with a custom approach to health. 

Suggested Reading: Male Infertility and Lifestyle Factors: The Functional Medicine Toronto View

Environmental Toxins to Avoid for Conception

Pollutants can hinder natural female fertility and lower the IVF success rate. With that, we’ve compiled a list of some environmental toxins that could decline your chances of conceiving: 

  • BPA: Bisphenol-A is a chemical used to make plastic bags, water bottles, tins, food containers, and ovenware. In a Fertility and Sterility review, it was shown that infertile women tend to have high BPA levels in their bodies compared to fertile females. As reported by the review, these BPA levels have been related to infertility in women who endure IVF therapies. This is why it’s preferable to use alternatives to plastics, such as mason jars or BPA-free reusable bottles. 
  • Tobacco: Refrain from smoking and reduce your contact with second-hand smoke. Tobacco contains a countless number of heavy metals and chemicals. There are so many toxins involved, it makes it difficult to determine which one is more or less detrimental to your health! It’s not a surprise that smoking over 10 cigarettes per day can lessen your chances for conception.
  • Heavy metals: Cadmium, lead and mercury exposures can fasten to hormones that are responsible for sexual maturation. “This may disrupt the time course of sexual maturation directly or indirectly affecting reproductive competence …” explains a Frontiers in Reproductive Health article. To avoid these heavy metals, drink filtered water and use stainless steel cookware. Also, lower your intake of fish and avoid swordfish, marlin, and king mackerel, which are known to contain mercury. 
  • Pesticides: Pesticide use is connected to miscarriages, and when they’re in the body, pesticides can be passed into breast milk. So now is the time to stop using these chemicals around your garden! However, pesticides may still be used around workplaces; in these cases, avoid these outdoor spaces whenever chemicals are applied. Or seek advice from your employer if you need further accommodations. 

Our functional medicine approach to promoting fertility

If you’re hoping to get pregnant soon, please consult with our healthcare providers to optimize conception. Our functional medicine treatments are based on your biology, medical history, lifestyle factors and environmental factors. We may discuss the following during your first session with us: 

  • Functional medicine laboratory testing: If you’ve been exposed to toxins, we may recommend lab tests to be sure. Some of them measure for hormone imbalances, nutritional shortcomings, and the toxins that are currently in your body. Once we have the results, we can tailor a distinctive health care plan to foster optimal functioning. As a result, this may improve fertility outcomes. 
  • Lifestyle modifications: If you have a poor diet, we’ll discuss removing processed foods from your meals. We can coach you on how to implement new, healthy food choices to encourage detoxification and to improve digestive health. Furthermore, we can offer support if you’re struggling to quit smoking.   
  • Clinical therapies for detoxification: If your lab results show that toxins are present, we can customize treatments to clear these substances. Chelation therapy may be mentioned for heavy metal exposures; or IV vitamin therapy may be advised for detoxification and treating nutritional deficiencies. When amalgamated with other functional medicine programs and a healthy lifestyle, our treatments may contribute to boosting conception.

About our clinical care 

According to integrative functional medicine wisdom, treating the core of your health issue can promote healing and chronic disease prevention. Our goal is to help you uncover the core that is behind your health issues.  

Our functional medicine providers educate you on how to optimize your health status. This includes tailoring treatments for your personal needs, such as IV therapy, hormonal health support, allopathic medicine, acupuncture, Western medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, holistic medicine, and stress management. Our functional medicine patients can opt for integrative care; this means they can combine therapies to manage individual symptoms.

Our dedicated team cares about your overall wellness, so if you have questions outside of fertility issues, ask away! Virtual consultations are available, too. Our treatments may be adapted for a wide variety of issues related to nutritional deficiencies, chronic pain, acid reflux, sleep issues, abdominal pain, cellular health, and more. 

Clinical nutrition and functional medicine in Toronto may promote optimal health, which can help upgrade conception. Let’s kickstart your treatment plan now! Click here to request your appointment today.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.


Ehrlich S, Williams PL, Missmer SA, Flaws JA, Ye X, Calafat AM, Petrozza JC, Wright D, Hauser R. Urinary bisphenol A concentrations and early reproductive health outcomes among women undergoing IVF. Hum Reprod. 2012 Dec;27(12):3583-92. doi: 10.1093/humrep/des328. Epub 2012 Sep 26. PMID: 23014629; PMCID: PMC3501244.

Matuszczak E, Komarowska MD, Debek W, Hermanowicz A. The Impact of Bisphenol A on Fertility, Reproductive System, and Development: A Review of the Literature. Int J Endocrinol. 2019;2019:4068717. Published 2019 Apr 10. doi:10.1155/2019/4068717

Pesticides – Reproductive Health” from the CDC, National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, reviewed October 28, 2019, viewed on March 22, 2023. 

Pivonello, C., Muscogiuri, G., Nardone, A. et al. Bisphenol A: an emerging threat to female fertility. Reprod Biol Endocrinol 18, 22 (2020).

Pizzorno J. Environmental Toxins and Infertility. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2018;17(2):8-11.

Obasi CN, Frazzoli C and Orisakwe OE (2022) Heavy metals and metalloids exposure and in vitro fertilization: Critical concerns in human reproductive medicine. Front. Reprod. Health 4:1037379. doi: 10.3389/frph.2022.1037379

Optimizing fertility Part 2: Environmental toxins” By Lisa J. Zhang Jeffrey Roberts, MD, FRCSC Caitlin Dunne, MD, FRCSC, Issue: BCMJ, vol. 62 , No. 9 , November 2020 , Pages 323-327 Clinical Articles.

Wai KM, Mar O, Kosaka S, Umemura M, Watanabe C. Prenatal Heavy Metal Exposure and Adverse Birth Outcomes in Myanmar: A Birth-Cohort Study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017;14(11):1339. Published 2017 Nov 3. doi:10.3390/ijerph14111339

Ziv-Gal A, Flaws JA. Evidence for bisphenol A-induced female infertility: a review (2007-2016). Fertil Steril. 2016;106(4):827-856. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2016.06.027


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