Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between environmental exposure to parabens and semen quality parameters [main semen parameters, computer-aided semen analysis (CASA parameters], sperm chromatin structure, and the level of reproductive hormones in men [follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), testosterone, estradiol].
Methods: Urine samples collected from 315 men who attended the infertility clinic for diagnostic purposes with normal semen concentration of 15 to 300 mln/mL were analyzed for five parabens concentrations using a validated gas chromatography ion-tap mass spectrometry method. Participants were interviewed and also provided a semen, saliva, and blood samples.
Results: Urinary parabens concentrations were significantly associated with an increase in the percentage of sperm with abnormal morphology, in sperm with high DNA stainability and a decrease in the percentage of motility and testosterone level.
Conclusions: This is one of the first study on this topic, so the observation of the relationship between parabens and semen quality warrants further investigation.