Bisphenol A Could Affect Fertility

by Ann Douglas

BPABisphenol A (BPA) is getting more bad press these days -- this time on the female fertility front.

A research team headed by Julie Lamb, MD, from the University of California, San Francisco, reported that BPA may have a negative impact on female fertility.

The researchers measured BPA levels in the blood of patients undergoing their first cycle of IVF. Of 41 women, 93 percent had quantifiable levels of BPA. Women who did not become pregnant were more likely to have higher BPA levels than women with lower BPA levels.

In addition, a team headed up by Lusine Aghajanova, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, has concluded that even short-term exposure of uterine cells to BPA can interfere with the way that they develop and prepare for a possible pregnancy (for example, creating a suitable cellular environment to allow the embryo to implant successfully).

The two studies were presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's annual meeting. Society President, David Adamson, MD, noted the significance of this research. "As levels of contaminants increase in the environment, they increase in our bodies. Estrogen-mimicking chemicals like BPA have potential to cause damage. These studies are the beginning- more research is needed to fully define the effects of BPA and to understand its mechanisms."

While we can each take steps to reduce our own exposure, it's important to join with others to call for healthier food packaging for everyone.

Ann Douglas is the author of numerous books about pregnancy and parenting including the bestselling "The Mother of All Pregnancy Books." She regularly contributes to a number of print and online publications, is frequently quoted in the media on a range of parenting-related topics, and has appeared as a guest on a number of television and radio shows. Ann and her husband Neil live in Peterborough, Ontario. with the youngest of their four children. Learn more at her site,

Medical Reference:
- Urine bisphenol-A (BPA) level in relation to semen quality
De-Kun Li, ZhiJun Zhou, Maohua Miao, Yonghua He, JinTao Wang, Jeannette Ferber, Lisa J. Herrinton, ErSheng Gao, Wei Yuan Fertility and sterility 1 February 2011 (volume 95 issue 2 Pages 625-630.e4 DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.09.026).

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