Perfume, a seemingly harmless substance used to make women smell fresh and pretty, has seriously negative effects on fertility. Studies have shown that perfumes can be linked to many cases of miscarriage, prenatal abnormalities, infertility (as its components damage the ovaries and other vital organs), cancer, and even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). What causes perfumes to be to harmful? While perfumes are a seemingly harmless way to keep women smelling fresh, they affect more than just a woman’s scent. Perfumes are composed of a mixture of chemicals that produce a certain scent such as lilac or honeysuckle. Yes, even the expensive French perfumes are made in this manner- despite the common misconception that the manufacturers have boiled down natural ingredients to derive their scent. Many perfumes are even made with musks, either synthetic or natural, that can cause hormonal imbalance in unpredictable ways. Musk ketone, a common ingredient in most perfumes, is associated with gynecological abnormalities and infertility. How do perfumes affect my hormones, fertility, and my baby? The pleasant and natural scents that are given off in many fragrances are actually imitated by a mix of chemicals, making them no longer as nontoxic as they once seemed. Since 95% of the chemicals used in fragrances today are petroleum-based chemicals which include known toxins capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions, the appeal certainly fades especially in expectant mothers or those hoping to conceive. Perfumes contain ingredients such as: Benzaldehyde – is known to cause kidney damage, irritation to the eyes and skin and stomach problems (rashes, inflammation, discomfort and so on) Benzyl Acetate – possibly can cause respiratory problems and has been linked to pancreatic cancer through recent studies Alcohol (in various forms) – can cause nausea and vomiting, blood pressure problems and in extreme cases, even death Camphor – causes dizziness, confusion, and convulsions a-Pinene – is damaging to the immune system, or to the baby’s immune system if he/she is exposed to it Other harmful ingredients include synthetic and natural musks, which are known to alter an individual’s hormones. This is especially dangerous in women trying to conceive or who are concerned about their fertility health. This notion is supported by the Environmental Working Group who reports, “High serum levels of musk ketone (a common ingredient in perfumes) in women may be associated with gynecological abnormalities, including mild insufficiency of the ovaries and compromised fertility.” Even further, other aromatic substances used to freshen the air or cover scents contain harmful chemicals that, when babies are exposed to them, cause sudden infant death syndrome. Many fertility doctors will not allow their patients to enter the office wearing perfume for the safety of themselves, the other patients and their developing eggs. Should I completely avoid perfume or are there alternatives? It is strongly recommended to women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant to refrain from using perfume, however, there are some scents that are free from the harmful chemicals that manufactured perfumes contain. Look for body products scented with essential oils and plant extracts, and avoid anything that just has the word ‘fragrance’ on the label. While Jasmine is the most commonly known essential oil to promote fertility, its fleeting nature may encourage you to turn to more substantial essential oils like clary sage, rose, rosemary and lavender which are all forms of aromatherapy that promote fertility. Call Today For An Appointment: (561) 459-0528