Endocrine disruptors and female fertility: a review of pesticide and plasticizer effects


VOLUME 3, ISSUE 2, P86-90, JUNE 01, 2022


Blake Vessa, M.D., Barry Perlman, D.O., Peter G. McGovern, M.D., Sara S. Morelli, M.D., Ph.D.


An ongoing interest in environmental exposures and female fertility has led to an increasing number of studies focusing on endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Both natural and synthetic compounds have the ability to impact reproductive health by altering the structure and/or function of genes and proteins that facilitate normal ovarian and endometrial functions. This mini-review aims to summarize the effects of some of the most common EDCs on female fertility, including the effects of pesticides and plasticizer alternatives (phthalates, bisphenol A), based on available data in human studies. A literature search was performed using the key words “pesticides, fertility, reproduction, plasticizers, bisphenol A, phthalate, miscarriage, and in vitro fertilization.” The data supporting EDCs’ role in female infertility remain limited, but existing evidence suggests that exposure may have an adverse impact. Accumulating evidence in animal studies provides important insights into the mechanisms underlying EDC effects. As dose-response dynamics are better elucidated, understanding the effects of EDCs on female fertility will help in the development of guidelines for both industry and individuals.

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