How Your Personal Care Product Can Cause Infertility
Guys, be prepared for more bad news when it comes to your sperm. Aside from recent research about the decline in quantity, a new study suggests that chemicals from personal grooming products could also be lowering the quality of your sperm.
Reuters reports that lab tests conducted on 315 male patients in a Poland fertility clinic indicate that parabens, found in everyday products like deodorant, might cause sperm to be shaped abnormally and move slower, resulting in fertility issues. Urine, saliva, blood and semen samples determined sperm quantity and quality, as well as how many chemicals were found in the subjects’ bodies.
The data indicates that men who had more parabens detected in their urine also experienced abnormally sized or shaped sperm. According to Reuters, the sperm were slow movers, meaning they might not be capable of going the distance in order to fertilize a woman’s egg.
While abnormally shaped sperm is related to infertility, it’s actually quite common, according to Dr. Landon Trost, M.D., on the Mayo Clinic website. Trost explains that most sperm are oval shaped and have a long tail, while abnormal swimmers have could have a different shaped head, crooked tail or multiple tails. These changes can make it harder for sperm to enter the egg.
Sperm count, another factor used in determining male fertility, can be determined by many things, some medical and others environmental. Infections, including those transmitted sexually like gonorrhea or HIV, can cause testicular problems, thus affecting fertility. Other health conditions like diabetes, spine injuries and surgical procedures of the urinary system, could also impact the little guys.
However, there is growing concern over environmental factors, such as chemicals, including pesticides and metals, on sperm quality. Recent reports indicate that cosmetics aren’t as safe as we think, as this study highlights, but avoiding them can be tricky.
“To avoid parabens is very difficult because they are widespread, but we can try to minimize the exposure by only using personal care products with label information saying that there are no parabens in the particular product,” lead study author Joanna Jurewicz of the Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine in Lodz, told Reuters.