Female Infertility, Overview

Get Email Updates

Related Topics

Female Infertility, Overview Guide

Alison Beaver

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.

ASK

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

Trying to Conceive? If You Can’t it Might be Your Beauty Products

By Lynette Summerill HERWriter
can't conceive? your beauty products may be at fault Jerry Bernard/PhotoSpin

Part 2 of a 2-part series looking at environmental exposure to everyday chemicals and your health. For Part 1 click here.

If you are trying to conceive but are having a difficult time, what could be standing between you and a baby is your lifestyle and environment. A new Harvard University prospective cohort study is the first to find a possible association between parabens and impaired ovarian reserves.

The study, published in the August 2, 2013 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that one common parabens type — propylparaben — impacts female fertility by lowering the number of viable oocytes in the ovaries or by possibly prematurely aging the ovaries.

“Typically, as a woman’s age increases, her ovarian reserve diminishes, which is referred to as 'ovarian aging' and is associated with reduced fertility,” the study stated.

“For women undergoing fertility treatments, ovarian aging is also associated with a decreased response to ovarian stimulation protocols and lower pregnancy success rates.”

Parabens are preservatives added by manufacturers to personal care, cosmetics and some foods to extend their shelf life.

In 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with the assistance of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, documented widespread human exposure to parabens. Some experimental data has suggested that they act as estrogenic endocrine disruptors, leading some researchers to believe that there is an association between the chemicals and breast cancer.

The new study’s researchers, led by Russ Hauser, Frederick Lee Hisaw Professor of Reproductive Physiology at Harvard School of Public Health, measured paraben concentrations with markers of ovarian reserve in the urine of 192 women, aged 35 or older. The women were undergoing fertility treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, between 2005-2010.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Add a Comment1 Comments

frmeital

This is exactly why I've started making my own homemade makeup: http://www.natural-alternative-therapies.com/homemade-makeup-recipes/

September 8, 2013 - 1:25am
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

Improved

1549 Health

Changed

572 Lives

Saved

430 Lives
5 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Does the thought of doing your taxes stress you out?:
View Results