- In vitro fertilization (IVF) may be affected by exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs).
Why this matters
- EDCs are pollutants that interfere with the synthesis, function, storage, and metabolism of hormones and can affect gene expression.
- Examples of EDCs include: pesticides, herbicides, plasticizers, and persistent organic pollutants.
- They occur in medical supplies, paints, cosmetics, and plastics.
- EDCs can accumulate in tissues and fluids.
- It is not known if there are safe levels of exposure.
- EDCs may act synergistically.
- A "reflection," literature review, and expert commentary.
- Funding: Author support from the IVI Foundation and Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.
- Du et al. (2019):
- Phthalates and their metabolites were detected in follicular fluid in IVF patients.
- Levels were low, but associated with lower estradiol levels.
- Hannon et al. (2015):
- EDCs were associated with lower fertilization rates.
- Also associated with a lower proportion of high-quality embryos relative to the number of retrieved oocytes.
- Brief review of literature.
- Association is limited because of limited studies.