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Deciphering the link between perfumes and PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common hormonal problems among women. In the current scenario of compromised lifestyle and eating habits, the situation has only gotten worse with at least three in 10 women being diagnosed with the disease. As we know it is a lifestyle disease and experts recommend to cure it by exercising regularly, eating a nutritious diet and weightlossamong others.

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But did you know that those who have PCOS also have to eliminate certain items from their lifestyle such as milk and dairy products, the use of plastics, cosmetics and perfumes? Yes, you read that right!

Perfumes can also be harmful to women because most of them contain triclosan (TCS) – a chlorinated aromatic compound. “It is widely used in personal care as well as household products such as scented soaps, shampootoothpaste and liquid sanitizers,” said Dr. Monika Singh, Assistant Professor (Department of OBGY), Noida International Institute of Medical Sciences.

Explain how exposure to TCS relates to PCOS, Dr Singh said: “Widespread exposures to TCS have been observed in many countries. Evidence from animal and in vitro studies has suggested a variety of hormonal activities of TCS, including estrogenic, androgenic, and antiandrogenic activities, and disruption of thyroid hormonal activities, all of which are linked to PCOS-like syndrome.

No perfume containing a synthetic fragrance can be considered safe (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

She added that this could contribute to the clinical manifestation of PCOS.

For example, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on September 9, 2016 banned the inclusion of triclosan and 18 other antimicrobial chemicals in household soaps. The following year, he stopped companies from using triclosan in over-the-counter health care. antiseptic products without pre-marketing review. India, however, does not have such regulations on the use of products containing triclosan, the expert explained.

Sharing how perfumes containing synthetic fragrances are linked to PCOS, Dr. Gunjan Gupta Govil, Founder and Chairman of Gunjan IVF World Group, added: “Your body has certain hormones – FSH and LH – and there is a good balance between they. Synthetic fragrances contain certain compounds called environmental endocrine disruptors. They disrupt the hormonal balance between FSH and LH. As a result, conditions such as PCOS become more prominent. Research has found that patients who use such fragrances have an increased incidence of PCOS compared to those who do not.

Advising to avoid such perfumes as much as possible, she explained that no perfume containing a synthetic fragrance can be considered safe. “Even small amounts have been linked to PCOS. Use natural products such as essential oils as they don’t contain these environmental endocrine disruptors,” Dr. Govil suggested.

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