Is Your Make-up Affecting Your Fertility?

Most of us understand that the chemicals and other nasties in our food and environment can wreak havoc on our health. But what about the cosmetics we apply on a daily basis without giving much thought to? Read on to learn more.


Studies have shown that products such as nail polish, perfumes, antibacterial soaps, anti-aging creams and so on, have high chemical content that contains endocrine disruptor chemicals. One group of chemicals are Phthalates which are used in a variety of consumer products across the globe. Globally, more than 18 billion pounds of phthalates are used each year, primarily as plasticizers to create flexibility in plastics. These chemicals can be found in cosmetic products such as lotions, perfume, and nail polishes. Interestingly, phthalates have also demonstrated to reduce fertility with decreased pregnancy rates, increased miscarriages, and other gestational complications. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that these plasticizers negatively modulate oocyte growth, ovulation, and embryonic development, leading to impaired ovarian function. Interference with ovarian steroid synthesis and metabolism could partially explain these effects.

So how do we protect ourselves and our future generations from items that have become an intrinsic part of the daily use and self-care? According to Dr. Pankaj Shrivastav, Director of Conceive Gynecology & Fertility Hospital, the first step is always awareness which is why scientific research and development is so vital and it is imperative. “When it comes to plastic, please do avoid their use as much as possible,” he urges. Try to opt for reusable containers to store your foods and household products. When it comes to cosmetics, flip the label and read the ingredients. When you see Phthalate listed as an ingredient –don’t buy it. Opt for more natural ingredients based and cruelty-free products.

(Written by: Dr. Pankaj Shrivastav (MD.DGO.FRCOG), Director of Conceive Gynecology & Fertility Hospital)