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01.12.2017 | Short communication | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 1/2017

Paraben exposure and semen quality of Japanese male partners of subfertile couples

Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2017
Yukiko Nishihama, Hiroki Toshima, Jun Yoshinaga, Yoshifumi Mizumoto, Miyuki Yoneyama, Daisuke Nakajima, Hiroaki Shiraishi, Susumu Tokuoka



Possible relationship between semen quality (semen volume, sperm concentration and sperm motility) and parabens exposure was investigated in male partners of couples who visited a gynecology clinic in Tokyo for infertility consultation (n = 42, 36.8 ± 5.4 years).


Semen parameters were measured according to WHO guideline at the clinic, and urinary methyl- (MP), ethyl- (EP), propyl- (PP) and butyl (BP) paraben concentrations were measured with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.


Geometric mean urinary concentrations (geometric standard deviation) of the subjects were 48.2 (4.52), 1.88 (4.72), 1.13 (6.75) and 0.184 (11.1) ng/mL for MP, EP, PP and BP, respectively. No significant association was found between semen parameters and urinary paraben concentrations in multiple regression analyses and logistic regression analyses.


Two reasons of the absence of adverse effects on semen quality might be suggested: lower paraben exposure level of the subjects and small sample size. Further investigation of effect of paraben exposure among general male population at environmental levels is warranted.

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