You read that right. The culprit behind distorted, slow and altogether immobile sperm, might be right there in your bathroom. New research is pointing towards a class of chemicals that might be harming your sperms. These chemicals, called parabens, are found in toothpaste, soaps, shampoos, sunscreens, face washes, lotions, and conditioners.
In the study in concern, researchers collected sperm and urine samples from 325 men with normal sperm concentrations who attended an infertility clinic. They tested the sperm for measures of quality, and the urine for levels of five parabens, which are man-made chemicals used as the preservative in personal care and grooming products: butylparaben, ethylparaben, iso-butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben.
It was found that men with higher concentrations of the parabens in their urine were significantly more likely to have abnormally-shaped sperm and ones that don’t move as well as they should. Additionally, higher levels of butylparaben were linked to greater chances of DNA damage in the sperm.
Parabens act like endocrine disruptors, the researchers believe. They interfere with your normal hormone process, and may even trigger inappropriate hormone activity. This can affect testosterone levels and sperm production, possibly causing you to have trouble getting your partner pregnant.
It may have been easy to avoid parabens hadn’t they been found in a large percentage of personal care and grooming products. It’s not quite clear yet how much of it can be harmful. More research must be done to give more clarity on the link before any firm recommendations can be made.
In the meantime, if you are worried about your sperms, take a look at the label for your personal care products. Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, iso-butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben are among the most common you’d see listed. Try and avoid products that are laden with parabens.
It might take a little searching, but you can find some products that are paraben-free. You can opt for these ways to boost sperm count.