Exposure to phthalates and female reproductive health: a literature review

2022-03-03

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are exogenous compounds that have been known for their ability to interfere with the action of hormones and affect endocrine pathways, including the ones involved in the development and function of both male and female reproductive systems. EDCs comprise a wide class of compounds, such as pesticides, bisphenol A, phthalates and, parabens, that are present in the environment and in several daily use products. Phthalate esters, compounds commonly used as plasticizers and additives in many industrial applications, have attracted special attention because of the widespread human exposure and the potential for disruption of androgen-dependent development in males. Although phthalates are rapidly metabolized and excreted, their ubiquitous presence ensures continuous exposures throughout different life stages from conception to adult life, as documented by a number of human biomonitoring studies worldwide. Although most research efforts have been placed on the impact of phthalates on male reproductive development and functions, there is a large body of recent experimental and observational data indicating that phthalates can negatively affect female reproductive health, and in particular alter ovarian and uterine functions, potentially contributing to disorders like polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, and other common female reproductive problems. This review summarizes the most recent experimental and epidemiologic literature on the potential effects of phthalate exposures on female reproductive health and their impact on female fertility.

Authors: Carla Giovana Basso, Anderson Tadeu de Araujo-Ramos, Anderson Joel Martino-Andrade
; Full Source: Reproductive toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.) 2022 Mar 3;S0890-6238(22)00026-0. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2022.02.006.