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Reprod Toxicol. 2016 Aug;63:107-13. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2016.05.010. Epub 2016 May 14.

Association between paraben exposure and menstrual cycle in female university students in Japan.

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Department of Environmental Studies, University of Tokyo, Kashiwanoha 5-1-5, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8563, Japan.
Department of Environmental Studies, University of Tokyo, Kashiwanoha 5-1-5, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8563, Japan; Faculty of Life Sciences, Toyo University, 1-1-1 Izumino, Itakura, Ora, Gunma 374-0193, Japan. Electronic address:
Department of Environmental, Occupational Health and Toxicology, School of Allied Health Sciences, Kitasato University, Kitasato 1-15-1, Minami, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-0373, Japan.
Department of Human Ecology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Hongou 7-3-1, Bunkyou, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan; Department of Anthropology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
Department of Nursing, Tokyo Healthcare University, Higashigaoka 2-5-1, Meguro, Tokyo 152-8558, Japan.
National Institute for Environmental Studies, Onogawa 16-2, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan.


Parabens have been known to have estrogenic activity in many in vivo and in vitro studies and biomonitoring data indicated ubiquitous exposure in general populations. However, there are few human studies on reproductive effects of parabens. In this study, menstrual cycle length and its intra-individual variation were investigated by bleeding record over the period of 5 months and urinary concentrations of parabens were measured for 128 female Japanese university students. We found significantly negative relationships between menstrual cycle length and urinary estrogen-equivalent total paraben (odds=0.73, 95% CI 0.56-0.96) and butyl paraben concentrations (odds=0.83, 0.70-0.99), which indicated shortened cycle length in women with high urinary paraben concentrations. This study indicated that paraben exposure at not excessive levels is associated with menstrual cycle length or its variability among general female subjects. These results suggest a possibility that parabens exposure is one of the environmental causes of human reproductive problem.


Female fecundity; Menstrual cycle; Paraben; Urine

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