Chemical UV Filters May Impair Fertility By Interfering With Progesterone Signaling Interview with:
Anders Rehfeld MD, PhD Student
University of Copenhagen
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Copenhagen, Denmark What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Rehfeld: Human fertility is declining in many areas of the world and the reason is largely unknown.

Our study shows that 44% tested chemical UV filters can induce calcium signals in human sperm cells, thereby mimicking the effect of progesterone and possibly interfering with the fertilizing ability of human sperm cells. Progesterone-induced calcium signaling, and the sperm functions it triggers, is absolutely essential for the human sperm cell to normally fertilize the human egg. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Rehfeld: Our study is an in vitro study, so we cannot know for sure if these effects of the UV filters also take place in vivo. However, if you are a couple trying to achieve pregnancy, it might be a good idea to use sunscreens with physical UV filters, instead of the chemical ones, even though we still cannot say for sure if they affect fertilization in vivo. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dr. Rehfeld: Our finding might have implications outside of the field of fertility, as progesterone signaling is important in many different organs and cells. Thank you for your contribution to the community.

Citation: ENDO 2016 Abstract

Organic Ultraviolet Filters Mimic the Action of Progesterone on Human Sperm and Interfere with Sperm Functions


Anders Rehfeld*1, Dorte Louise Egeberg1, Steen Dissing2 and Niels Erik Skakkebaek3
1University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Copenhagen, Denmark, 3University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Rigshospitalet, Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark


Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Dr. Anders Rehfeld (2016). Chemical UV Filters May Impair Fertility By Blocking Progesterone