A small-scale University of California, San Francisco-led study has identified the first evidence in humans that exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) may compromise the quality of a woman’s eggs retrieved for in vitro fertilization (IVF). As blood levels of BPA in the women studied doubled, the percentage of eggs that fertilized normally declined by 50 percent, according to the research team.
The chemical BPA, which makes plastic hard and clear, has been used in many consumer products such as reusable water bottles. It also is found in epoxy resins, which form a protective lining inside metal food and beverage cans.
“While preliminary, the data indicate the negative effect of BPA on reproductive health and the importance of allocating more funding to further investigate why such environmental contaminants might be disrupting fertility potential,” said Victor Y. Fujimoto, MD, lead study author and professor in the UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, who also is on the faculty of the UCSF Center for Reproductive Health.