On March 5, 2014 researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Fertility and Sterility finding delayed conception and pregnancy in women whose partners are exposed to high levels of dimethyl, dibutyl and benzylbutyl phthalates (Louis et al. 2014). The work was previously presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine annual meeting in October 2013 (previously reported on by the FPF). The researchers Buck Louis from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and colleagues studied 501 couples from Texas and Michigan, U.S., who took part of the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE). Rather than studying couples undergoing fertility treatment, which is usually done, they investigated couples trying to conceive a child. Urine samples were analyzed for bisphenol A (BPA) and 14 phthalates, including the metabolites of dimethyl, dibutyl and benzylbutyl phthalate. They observed that women with partners having high urinary levels of these three metabolites had a 20 % increase in time to achieve pregnancy. The delay is comparable to that provoked by cigarette smoking and obesity. The group also found a reversal in the ratio of testosterone to estradiol in men with high BPA levels.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (March 5, 2014). “High plasticizer levels in males linked to delayed pregnancy for female partners.”
FPF article “FCMs linked to problems in conception and pregnancy”
Louis, B. et al. (2014). “Urinary bisphenol A, phthalates, and couple fecundity: the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) Study.” Fertility and Sterility (published online February 18, 2014).