Why Support Detoxification Before Trying to Conceive

Why Support Detoxification Before Trying to Conceive

By: Bonnie Burgess

If fertility is on your mind, one of the best things you can do to prepare is to support your body’s natural detoxification processes.

Detoxification is a function of natural bodily processes.

The hitch is that the world we live in puts an extra burden on these innate detoxification processes. We have to deal with heavy pollution, processed food with manufactured additives and preservatives, and manufactured chemicals in our environment. This is especially true if you live in the United States where we have banned a small fraction of what the European Union has deemed harmful to the public.[1]

Many feel this extra burden later in life as it contributes to chronic disease. However, you may be impacted well before you notice symptoms. In fact, impaired detoxification affects fertility. It disrupts hormone balance and increases inflammation.

Disrupts hormone balance

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, are an unfortunate reality of living in our modern world. They’re found in items like cosmetics, our food packaging, nonstick pans, mattresses, carpet and electronics. In fact, there are over 700 estrogen-mimicking chemicals which can dramatically increase estrogen levels relative to other hormones in the body. Some, like PFOS and PFAS decrease testosterone levels which impact male fertility.[2]

We are exposed to EDCs on a daily basis, and even low doses of exposure can have an impact capable of influencing our hormones. Our thyroid, metabolic, and sex hormone signaling are at risk for disruption, directly affecting reproductive processes. For example, flame retardants have been associated with thyroid disease, and phthalate exposure interferes with androgen production. While that certainly doesn’t sound good, studies have investigated exposure to flame retardants and to phthalates, chemicals commonly found in flexible plastic. Both may negatively affect success rates of IVF[3].

Increases inflammation

With a burden of toxins that exceeds our detoxification capacity, they accumulate in our system. Both the cache of toxins and the processes to deal with them are stressful on the body. This stress interferes with hormone function and contributes to chronic inflammation. Inflammation is a factor in many of the conditions which commonly affect fertility, including; polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS,) endometriosis, and repeat pregnancy loss (RPL.)

Affects baby’s health

Unfortunately, the impact of toxin exposure doesn’t end with conception. It can also affect a baby’s health. Stored chemicals in the body can easily cross the placenta and affect the baby in the uterus. Some of the effects include; low birth weight, breastfeeding challenges, and cognitive development[4].

What can you do?

Reducing your exposure is one important strategy, but EDCs are so pervasive that avoiding all exposure is unlikely. Supporting your body’s detoxification processes is the other critical strategy to reduce their negative effects:

1. Take care of these 5 easy, everyday changes to make to your diet and lifestyle.

2. Support detoxification with an intentional 10-day program, like Replenish & Reset: A 10 Day Real Food Reset.

Bonnie Burgess - Burgess WellnessWe’d like to offer $20 off Replenish & Reset (levels 1 and 2) which begins August 21st.

Pre-register with the code “Lokahi” in the message field.

For any questions about the program, you can reach Bonnie Burgess at bonnie@burgesswellness.com.



Bonnie is a holistic functional nutritionist who specializes in women’s health and fertility including patients undergoing ART. She uses a “food first” approach to determine individual nutritional needs coupled with lifestyle modifications and possible nutrient supplementation. Bonnie lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she serves an international client base through a 100% virtual consultancy at Burgess Wellness.


[1] https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/22/chemicals-in-cosmetics-us-restricted-eu

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8038605/

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28858831/


[4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26955061/