How do endocrine disruptors affect male fertility?

The Fourth of July weekend is here! Many of you will be celebrating this Independence holiday out in the sun at barbeques, ball games, the beach, or the pool. It is important to protect you and your loved ones skin with sunscreen, but be sure to read those labels if you are trying to become pregnant.

Recent studies report on the chemicals that filter out UV rays in our sunscreen (and a few other personal care products), can affect fertility in men. Of the 500 couples in this study, a urine sample was given from each of the male partners and they were instructed to keep a journal until the couple got pregnant, or had tried for 12 months. In the couples that it took longer for them to get pregnant all the urine samples of the men contained high amounts of BP-2 or 4OH-BP. BP-2 and 4OH-BP are two UV filter chemicals found in sunscreens, some shampoos and moisturizers.

Additional chemicals have been found to impact men’s fertility as well. Endocrine distributors, a class of chemicals that get their name because they alter proper hormone functioning, can be found in soaps, toothpastes and plastic toys. These estrogen-mimicking chemicals have been found to alter hormone levels in men (and women!), ultimately impacting their fertility. For tips and information on male fertility issues check out our Man’s Guide to Baby-Making here.