Cosmetics and some household products could be responsible for worsening endometriosis.

Cosmetics and some household products could be responsible for worsening endometriosis.

Spooky results in serum levels of phthalates are detected in women with endometriosis when compared to healthy controls.

Key Points


  • Phthalates, cost-effective and prevalent products, contain endocrine disruptors and their long exposure can cause human reproductive and developmental retardation. 


  • Phthalates are widely used in personal care products to control viscosity, stabilizers, lubricants, softening agents, emulsifying agents and suspending agents, also added to plastic materials in order to increase their flexibility.
  • The toxicity of phthalates is the focus of attention for many disorders. 

What's done here: 

  • Healthy and fertile women's serum diethyl hexyl phthalate (DEHP) levels compared with the infertile women who have a laparoscopic diagnosis of endometriosis.
  • Venous blood was collected from all the above patients and DEHP  levels were examined by high-performance liquid chromatography.

Key Results:

  • High levels of diethyl hexyl phthalate were found in the sera of infertile women with endometriosis,
  • They were nondetectable in the age-matched control group which consists of fertile women in their reproductive period. 


  • In this study, the number of cases is not enough to declare a definite result. 
  • Metabolites of DEHP to understand the possible role in the pathophysiology of endometriosis, are not examined.

Lay Summary

A controlled clinical study recently published in the Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences,  composed by Nazir et al. from the University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan. The study compared the blood diethyl hexyl phthalate (DEHP) levels of fifty infertile women laparoscopically diagnosed withendometriosis to those of age-matched fifty healthy fertile women.

Statistically significant high level of DEHP was found out in women with endometriosis, while no detectable levels present in the control group.

The increased level of serum DEHP results supported the results of several previous studies from women with endometriosis in the literature that was carried out on serum, urine, and blood plasma in endometriotic patients compared to controls. 

More detailed studies are necessary to evaluate the metabolites of DEHP which may explain the possible role of these compounds in the pathophysiology of endometriosis.

Phthalate esters, also known as plasticizers, are used to increase flexibility,  transparency, durability, and longevity of different substances in many products of household furnishing, cosmetics, perfumes, food packaging, medicine, and insecticides, and have recognized endocrine-disrupting properties. The toxicity of phthalates has come into the focus of attention for the past few decades for many disorders. 

Research Source:

Infertility cosmetics phthaletes plastic products chromotography diethyl hexyl phthalate insecticid glutathione-S-transferase enzyme P450 enzyme system endometriosis


EndoNews highlights the latest peer-reviewed scientific research and medical literature that focuses on endometriosis. We are unbiased in our summaries of recently-published endometriosis research. EndoNews does not provide medical advice or opinions on the best form of treatment. We highly stress the importance of not using EndoNews as a substitute for seeking an experienced physician.