Health + Infertility: Part Six: Parabens

It’s been awhile since my last post, but I’m continuing my series about the environment and health. If you have missed the prior posts you can read them here:

Today I’m sharing about a preservative called Paraben. Parabens have been used since 1950 are the most widely used preservatives in cosmetics, found in 85% of all cosmetics. They are used to prolong the life of a product, enabling cosmetics and/or food to sit on a shelf longer. According to, our bodies can absorb up to 5 pounds of parabens a year.

While the root word is paraben, you may see this chemical in many other words when looking at a label, including methylparaben, ethylparaben and many more. Parabens are much like the other chemicals I have shared about, in that they mimic estrogen and disrupt the hormones in the body.

In a study done in 2009, parabens were found in 99% of the samples from 40 women who had undergone a mastectomy due to breast cancer. While there is no evidence that the parbens caused cancer, they were definitely present. As far as infertility, this study shows that parabens may be associated with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR). This article shows a study that was done in 193 women who went through IVF and showed that parabens were associated with poorer egg quality, higher FSH, and lower AFC.

Even though parabens might not directly cause cancer or infertility, there is definitely a correlation. The best way to improve your fertility or overall health is to avoid all parabens (and the prior chemicals I have posted about). Next time before buying a product, make sure to check the label!

Health + Environment. Parabens

  • JoJo
    Posted at 09:22h, 29 April Reply

    Wow! Its amazing how there’s so many horrible things we put in our bodies without realizing it.

  • Emily, Our house now a home
    Posted at 09:24h, 29 April Reply

    This is good to know. I always assume that even if the finding for things that are bad for us are found out to be not as drastic a danger. It will still be a good thing to change your ways and use products that are better for us. I have been slowly changing out my makeup for ones that are better for me in the long run.

  • Biana @Blovedboston
    Posted at 09:42h, 29 April Reply

    I have become very conscious of parabens and have been buying cosmetics without them – thanks for the added information! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  • Rebecca Jo
    Posted at 09:50h, 29 April Reply

    I am a freak when it comes to toxic stuff… it really freaks me out. I’m starting Suzaane Sommers book today about toxic stuff. It’s a real thing that I don’t think people really believe.

  • Homestead Wishing
    Posted at 14:57h, 29 April Reply

    Wow, great information. Thanks for this great post!

  • Cheryl Smith
    Posted at 15:47h, 29 April Reply

    Wonderful advice…I need to be a lot more cautious when buying products. I so appreciate the time and effort you put into your research and your willingness to share it with us here. You are a blessing! 🙂

  • Laura @ Making Baby Provence
    Posted at 16:44h, 29 April Reply

    Excellent information! Now, can you come to my house and rid it of all of the toxins you’ve mentioned?! 😉

  • Sara
    Posted at 18:55h, 29 April Reply

    Are there any particular products you have switched too that are paraben free that you love?

  • Jessy
    Posted at 20:14h, 29 April Reply

    Amen to this WHOLE series!! I have been looking into getting healthier and I’m putting everything under the scope lately. It’s down right shocking what we are exposed to or put in and on our bodies every single day!

  • lisa@princessmouseycards
    Posted at 21:28h, 29 April Reply

    Such good advice. Gives have changed and we need to look out for all hidden dangers. Thanks for posting this series.

  • Donna
    Posted at 23:43h, 29 April Reply

    Wow, what a great article! How scary is it that there are so many hidden dangers to watch out for? I ave slowly been cutting out harmful chemicals etc from my beauty products but I could really do better. Thanks for sharing

    Posted at 06:03h, 30 April Reply

    it’s definitely a hot topic!

  • Courtney @ What's Up with the Wilhelms
    Posted at 09:08h, 30 April Reply

    This is great information, thank you for sharing. It can be scary just how many bad things we put in and around our bodies!

  • Debbie Rodrigues
    Posted at 09:58h, 30 April Reply

    I have just started removing parabens of my life. Today (coincidence!), I made sure my new shower gel was free of parabens and other crazy ingredients that I cannot pronounce.
    I made a decision to live clean mainly after the brain surgery and such chemicals need to go away.

  • Jessi
    Posted at 12:16h, 30 April Reply

    Oh my gosh, thank you for this information. I knew parabens were bad, but couldn’t remember all of the “why” involved, but as soon as I read that it mimics estrogen, that is ALL I need to know. I have estrogen-dominate PCOS, and I do NOT need more fake estrogen pumping through my body to mess me up even more. No mam! I’ve already been very mindful of buying paraben-free shampoo and make-up, so I’ll be sure to look in other products as well. Do you have a list of the worst offenders? Maybe another blog post for another day!

  • Holly Housewife
    Posted at 14:06h, 30 April Reply

    I’ve become much more concerned with looking at labels as I age. These things are so important! Thanks for the extra info 🙂

  • Edith Rodriguez
    Posted at 01:47h, 01 May Reply

    Thanks for sharing this information. This past year I’ve become more careful with what I put into or on my body and I have noticed a difference in how my hormones have improved in my dealing with PCOS. It’s so important that we be informed and learn about the dangers that chemicals and all toxic things can do to our bodies.

  • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom
    Posted at 08:23h, 01 May Reply

    Wow! Very interesting. I didn’t know this about parabens! I’ve seen on labels paraben-free but never understood what the toxicity is surrounding them.

    Thanks for sharing Caroline!

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.

  • Rhonda
    Posted at 12:45h, 02 May Reply

    I found this particularly interesting about parabens mimicking estrogen, as hormones majorly affect my epilepsy. I’m still learning about it all, and there’s not as much information out there as I’d like, but it’s one of the reasons I avoid soy. Soy is the worst food for my epilepsy! You may find this interesting –

  • Kelli @ A Deeper Joy
    Posted at 20:35h, 05 May Reply

    Such good info! I knew they were bad but not exactly why. Thanks for sharing, Caroline!

  • Velaundra{at}
    Posted at 15:17h, 07 May Reply

    This is a very resourceful list and I was completely unaware of this I’m still a little shocked at all the bad things that we use and/or consume daily.

  • aresh chaudhari
    Posted at 21:33h, 23 August Reply

    Thank you for sharing………
    so, we used parabean and sulphate free products….
    First Indian company to launch parabean and sulphate free products.

    Aresh chaudhari

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