As the cold days of winter are finally passing and we are headed into another sunny summer in Austin, Texas, couples trying to conceive may need to be more aware of chemicals in sunscreen. Reproductive Urologist from Austin Fertility & Reproductive Medicine/Westlake IVF, Dr. Parviz Kavoussi, was just interviewed on ABC Nightly News regarding this.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that benzophenone-type ultraviolet filters, which can be found in sunscreen, shampoo, skin moisturizers and other skin and hair products, may have an adverse affect on a man’s ability to father children. Dr Kavoussi comments, “The study revealed that couples with men with higher exposures to these benzophenones had a longer time to conception. Interestingly the same impact was not observed on female fertility. I am certainly not suggesting that men do not use sunscreen, as it is of clear benefit in protecting against skin cancer. The point is, men who are trying to conceive should try to minimize their exposures to these chemicals. Ways of doing so include decreasing time in the sun requiring sunscreen, washing off sunscreen when men come back indoors to minimize exposure times, and limiting use of other products with benzophenones”.
More studies are needed to gain a better understanding of exactly how these chemicals impact a man’s fertility.