31 July 2013
Exposure to an environmental toxin called bisphenol A (BPA) may be a contributing factor in many couples' inability to conceive, scientists have claimed.
In about one in five couples who have difficulty conceiving, the reasons for their infertility are unclear.
Now, scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital in the US have discovered that BPA disrupts egg maturation in humans.
The researchers obtained 352 eggs from 121 patients who were undergoing infertility treatment and exposed them to varying levels of BPA.
Publishing their findings in the journal Human Reproduction, they revealed that the chemical was associated with a decrease in the percentage of eggs that matured and an increase in the proportion that degenerated, with the effects becoming more noticeable as the BPA dose rose.
Lead researcher Dr Catherine Racowsky, director of the hospital's assisted reproductive technologies lab, said: "Because exposure to BPA is so ubiquitous, patients and medical professionals should be aware that BPA may cause a significant disruption to the fundamentals of the human reproductive process and may play a role in unexplained infertility."
Posted by Philip Briggs
Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.