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Adverse effects of phthalates on ovarian response to IVF
Date:7/8/2013

d that urinary phthalates were detected in almost all the women, reflecting the widespread level of exposure. Results also showed:

  • The odds of implantation failure increased with each rising quartile of two of the urinary phthalate metabolites. For example, for DEHP (used in vinyl plastic products) the odds of implantation failure in the highest quartile Q4) was twice that of the lowest (Q1).
  • There was also an escalating decrease of 4.17% (Q2), 6.19% (Q3) and 11.4% (Q4) in the number of oocytes retrieved with each DEHP phthalate quartile when compared with Q1 (the lowest reference quartile).

The results thus showed that urinary concentrations of some commonly used phthalates were "dose-dependently" associated with a lower yield of IVF oocytes, and an increased risk of implantation failure. However, the results did not detect any association between levels of urinary phthalates and rates of fertilisation or embryo development.

Commenting, Dr Souter believes the results "support the hypothesis" that phthalates are widespread in the environment and may well have an adverse effect on female fertility, particularly when tested in the model of IVF.

"We are all primarily exposed to phthalates through inhalation and ingestion," she explained. "It is extremely difficult if not impossible to avoid exposure to phthalates, since they are in so many products." However, she added, exposure can be reduced by the following:

  • Limit the use of personal care products with fragrances in them (including many of the modern baby care products and air fresheners).
  • Limit use of plastic food storage containers and plastic wraps (certainly do not heat food in them).
  • Read the labels and avoid children's toys made of plastics (vinyl) that contain phthalates.


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Contact: Christine Bauquis
christine@eshre.eu
32-499-258-046
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology
Source:Eurekalert

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