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Paternal Urinary Concentrations of Parabens and Other Phenols in Relation to Reproductive Outcomes among Couples from a Fertility Clinic
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  • Alternative Title:
    Environ Health Perspect
  • Description:

    Human exposure to phenols, including bisphenol A and parabens, is widespread. Evidence suggests that paternal exposure to environmental chemicals may adversely affect reproductive outcomes.


    We evaluated associations of paternal phenol urinary concentrations with fertilization rate, embryo quality, implantation, and live birth.


    Male–female couples who underwent in vitro fertilization (IVF) and/or intrauterine insemination (IUI) cycles in a prospective study of environmental determinants of fertility and pregnancy outcomes were included. The geometric mean of males’ specific gravity–adjusted urinary phenol concentrations measured before females’ cycle was quantified. Associations between male urinary phenol concentrations and fertilization rate, embryo quality, implantation, and live birth were investigated using generalized linear mixed models to account for multiple cycles per couple.


    Couples (n = 218) underwent 195 IUI and 211 IVF cycles. Paternal phenol concentrations were not associated with fertilization or live birth following IVF. In adjusted models, compared with the lowest quartile of methyl paraben, paternal concentrations in the second quartile were associated with decreased odds of live birth following IUI (adjusted odds ratio = 0.19; 95% CI: 0.04, 0.82).


    To our knowledge, these are some of the first data on the association of paternal urinary phenol concentrations with reproduction and pregnancy outcomes. Although these results do not preclude possible adverse effects of paternal paraben exposures on such outcomes, given the modest sample size, further understanding could result from confirmation using a larger and more diverse population.


    Dodge LE, Williams PL, Williams MA, Missmer SA, Toth TL, Calafat AM, Hauser R. 2015. Paternal urinary concentrations of parabens and other phenols in relation to reproductive outcomes among couples from a fertility clinic. Environ Health Perspect 123:665–671; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1408605

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