Could sunscreen affect your fertility?

120px-The_sun1New research from the States suggests that using sunscreen could have an impact on male fertility. It seems that some of the chemicals used to make sunscreen can have an effect on hormones, and that once they have been absorbed by the skin this may be linked to a reduction in male fertility. The researchers found that the sunscreen chemicals didn’t seem to have the same impact on female fertility.

It is perhaps fortunate that this story comes at a time when sunscreen is the last thing on most people’s minds here in the UK, but the researchers do stress that these are just initial results and that more work will be necessary to prove a clear and definite link.

You can read more about the work, carried out by the National Institutes of Health and the New York state Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center, at http://www.nih.gov

Could your cholesterol levels affect your fertility?

New research from the States suggests that there may be a link between high cholesterol levels and fertility problems.  Researchers followed 500 couples who were trying to conceive but didn’t have existing fertility problems – and they found that when both partners had high levels of cholesterol, it took them longer to get pregnant.

They suggest that anyone trying to conceive should check out their cholesterol levels at the start – and that they could improve their chances of success by reducing levels if they are too high.

What isn’t clear from the reports I’ve read is whether diet itself could be as much a factor as the cholesterol. A high-fat diet can lead to higher cholesterol levels, so the couples with lower cholesterol levels are likely to be eating more healthily – but whatever the root cause of the findings, it does suggest that paying attention to what you eat can have an impact on your fertility.

The study was carried out by researchers from the National Institutes of Health, the University at Buffalo (New York), and Emory University in Atlanta and the findings were published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism – you can read more details about the research here