These Chemicals Compromise Fertility

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Chances are you’re using a product containing phthalates and BPA, which could be compromising your chances of producing offspring or delaying fertility, according to a new study.

In the study published online at Live Science, researchers compared urine levels of bisphenol A (BPA) and 14 phthalate breakdown products of over 500 couples who were trying to conceive with their results over a 12 month period. Phthalates are found in many products, some of which include shampoo and plastic wrap, while BPA is found in plastic containers and linings of food cans. Men’s urine levels of three phthalate products were associated with a longer time to achieve pregnancy and zero phthalate product levels were associated with time for women. BPA levels were not associated with time to achieve successful pregnancy in neither men nor women.

In a follow-up study, researchers tested whether these chemicals affected the length of time it took women to become pregnant. They examined urinary phthalate and BPA levels of over 500 couples who were trying to conceive but were not being treated for infertility. While neither BPA concentrations nor phthalate levels in the female partners were not linked with longer pregnancy time, higher levels of three phthalates in male partners were associated with about a 20% increase in the time it took for the couples to achieve pregnancy.

Authors therefore stress the importance of testing both partners when investigating the effects of environmental substances on pregnancy outcomes.

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