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Exposure to BPA affects success of IVF

Posted Oct 15 2012 12:00am

Guest post by David Cooper.

Women with high levels of bisphenol A (BPA) in their system might have lower rates of successful conception through  in vitro fertilization (IVF), according to a recent Harvard School of Public Health study.

The chemical BPA is found in several items that people use every day, such as plastic products. The United States has banned BPA in baby bottles due to the fact that it has been found to cause adverse health effects for children who are in their early developmental stages. Studies have also found links between prenatal exposure and physical and neurological disorders occurring later in life. 

The Harvard study found a positive linear association between a woman's BPA exposure and a reduced number of eggs produced via IVF treatment. 

The scientists measured the level of BPA in urine samples from 137 women who were undergoing IVF. Two urine samples were taken: one during the hormone treatment stage of the cycle and the second when the eggs were collected from the woman. Around 90 percent of the urine samples had detectable levels of BPA - which is not uncommon, since BPA is found in so many products. However, the levels of BPA in the urine ranged from low to high, and here was an increased chance of implantation failure for women with higher levels - 42 percent of the IVF treatments experienced implantation failure

Further research is needed to confirm the results of the study published in the journal Human Reproduction. If confirmed, reducing BPA levels in women could be an option for women undergoing IVF and for those who are interested in female egg donation
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