You could be damaging your own fertility just by using normal, everyday soaps and shampoos that are full of sperm-killing chemicals. This is according to a recent research study that found men who regularly used personal hygiene items containing parabens had lower sperm counts and weaker sperm. Are you conducting chemical warfare on yourself? Read on to find out.
Parabens: Top Cause Of Endocrine Disruption
Researchers in Poland recently conducted a study of 315 men who visited a fertility clinic. In attempting to find causes for the men’s infertility, the scientists found one thing they all had in common. Each of them showed abnormally high levels of parabens in their urine.Parabens are preservatives. They’re used in a huge number of personal care products. Your bathroom cabinet is probably full of things with parabens in them. The Polish study determined that men exposed to high levels of parabens had:
- Lower levels of testosterone
- Lower sperm counts
- Slow-moving sperm
- Abnormal sperm
In fact, the European Commission on Endocrine Disruption lists parabens as a top cause of endocrine disruption. An endocrine disruptor is any agent that harms your hormones, fertility or reproductive systems. Endocrine disruptors have also been linked to cancer.
It gets worse. Parabens are found in almost all American-made cosmetics and hygiene products, including:
- Shaving cream
More Bad News About Chemicals
It isn’t just parabens that might be affecting your chances of becoming a father. A 2015 study in the scientific journal Human Reproduction found that boys who were exposed to high levels of diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) grew up to have genital abnormalities that led to lower sperm count and weaker sperm. DEHP is found in food products, plastics and—you guessed it—personal hygiene items.
Can You Avoid Chemicals?
Given how widespread these substances are in our environment and food, can you minimize your exposure to them?
The best way is to look for skincare, shaving and hair products that use natural ingredients instead of parabens. There are safe alternatives that work just as well and don’t have any unwanted side effects.
When shopping for these products, keep the following tips in mind:
- Don’t trust the name, even if it says it’s “all natural”; read the label.
- While you’re at it, try to avoid products that contain phthalates or petrochemicals.
- Add organic produce and meat to your diet to limit your intake of pesticides.
Protect Your Fertility
It’s hard to completely avoid dangerous toxins, but you can limit their effect on you and your fertility. Reducing your risk of exposure should be part of a healthy lifestyle along with a good diet, regular exercise, stress relief and limited alcohol consumption. All of these work hand-in-hand to keep your reproductive system strong.
Scientists don’t know if there’s a safe level of exposure to parabens and other chemical ingredients, but why take the risk? You’re better off just avoiding them and opting for all-natural products.