Effects of bisphenol A on male and couple reproductive health: a review

Although the literature is growing, evidence supporting a relationship between male bisphenol A exposure and reproductive health remains inconclusive.

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Volume 106, Issue 4, Pages 864-870

Authors:

Lidia Mínguez-Alarcón, Ph.D., Russ Hauser, M.D., Audrey J. Gaskins, Sc.D.

Abstract:

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a ubiquitous environmental toxicant with endocrine-disrupting properties and is suspected to affect human reproduction. The objective of this review was to summarize the potential effects of male exposure to BPA on markers of testicular function and couple reproductive outcomes. Five epidemiologic studies on BPA and reproductive hormones all found significant associations with at least one reproductive hormone; however, no consistent relationships were observed across studies. Six epidemiologic studies evaluated the relation between BPA and semen parameters, and although the majority reported negative associations with various parameters, there were few consistent trends across studies. Finally, three epidemiologic studies examined BPA and couple reproductive outcomes, and only one found an association. Overall, the evidence supporting an association between BPA exposure and adverse male reproductive health outcomes in humans remains limited and inconclusive. Reasons for the discrepancies in results could include, but are not limited to, differences in study populations (e.g., fertile vs. subfertile men), BPA urinary concentrations (occupationally vs. nonoccupationally exposed), misclassification of BPA exposure (e.g., using one urine sample to characterize exposure vs. multiple samples), sample sizes, study design (e.g., cross-sectional vs. prospective), and residual confounding (e.g., due to diet and lifestyle factors). It is also possible that some of the statistically significant findings were due to chance alone. Clearly, further studies are needed to further clarify the role of this ubiquitous endocrine-disrupting chemical on male reproductive health.


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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

1 Comment

Go to the profile of Jason Kovac
Jason Kovac over 4 years ago

Would be great to hear the authors suggest the most likely sources of BPA exposure that may be contributing to proposed decreases in male reproductive health. Given that BPA in baby bottles was banned by the FDA in 2012 it may also be interesting to examine trends moving forward.