Are urinary bisphenol A levels in men related to semen quality and embryo development after medically assisted reproduction

Male environmental BPA exposure may have an adverse influence on semen quality parameters, but does not affect embryo development at the blastocyst stage after IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

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Jure Knez, M.D., Roman Kranvogl, B.Sc., Barbara Pregl Breznik, B.Sc., Ernest Vončina, Ph.D., Veljko Vlaisavljević, M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 101, Issue 1, Pages 215-221.e5, January 2014



To evaluate whether urinary bisphenol A (BPA) levels in men adversely influence semen quality and embryo development after medically assisted reproduction.


Prospective, cohort study.


University-based tertiary care center.


A total of 149 couples undergoing their first or second IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) procedure.



Main Outcome Measure(s):

Semen quality and embryo development parameters until the blastocyst stage after the IVF or ICSI procedure.


Bisphenol A was detected in 98% (n = 146) of the samples with 0.1 ng/mL limit of detection. The geometric mean BPA concentration was 1.55 ng/mL. After the adjustment for potential confounders using linear regression models, an increase of natural logarithm transformed urinary BPA concentration was associated with lower natural logarithm transformed sperm count (β = −0.241, 95% confidence interval [CI] −0.470 to −0.012), natural logarithm transformed sperm concentration (β = −0.219, 95% CI −0.436 to −0.003), and sperm vitality (β = −2.660, 95% CI −4.991 to −0.329). The embryo development parameters from oocyte fertilization to the blastocyst formation stage were not affected by BPA exposure.


Urinary BPA concentrations in male partners of subfertile couples may influence semen quality parameters, but do not affect embryo development up to the blastocyst stage after medically assisted reproduction.

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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.