Infertility Stinks! But perfumed products and air fresheners may be making it worse

As those of you who have already been through IVF may know, we advise you not to wear strong scented perfumes or lotions on the day of your egg retrieval. Evidence shows that strongly scented perfumes release chemicals that may be toxic to eggs and sperm.  Now studies show that you should consider avoiding fragrances all together, even if you aren’t at the IVF stage of treatment. Remember, if you can smell something it’s not only getting into your body but its actually getting directly into your bloodstream as if it were injected!

Don’t contribute to secondhand scent problems! One thing we all share intimately is the air that we breathe. There is growing evidence that your cologne, perfume or air freshener may not only harm your health and fertility; but those are around you as well.  A recent study found that one-third of Americans report health problems linked to commonly fragranced consumer products. So your as air fresheners, cleaning supplies, laundry products, scented candles, cologne, and personal care products may be worsening some else’s  asthma attack, migraine headache, or even poor performance in school or at work. Fragranced products are pervasive in our society, and over 99% of Americans are regularly exposed to fragranced products due to their own use  or to someone else’s use.  Some of the most bothersome chemicals include: Limonene, pinenes, acetone, ethanol, camphor, benzyl alcohol, ethyl acetate, limonene, benzene, formaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane, methylene chloride, acetaldehyde, synthetic musks, phthalates, etc . But rather than becoming an expert chemist, consider looking at a database like the one set up the be Environmental Working Group. This resource can help you better understand your own brands as well as provide guidance to some safer alternatives.


Take home points:

  • Look for “fragrance-free” not “unscented” products.
  • Do not use air fresheners. All air fresheners, even those advertised as “natural” or “organic” or with “essential oils” emit chemicals classified as toxic or hazardous. Don’t use them.

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