BPA Exposure Associated With Poorer Semen Quality

Bisphenol-A in urine linked to risk of lower sperm concentration, vitality, count, and motility
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA) -- a component of many consumer products, including plastic containers and liners of food and beverage cans -- may have an adverse effect on semen quality, according to research published online Oct. 29 in Fertility and Sterility.

De-Kun Li, M.D., of Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif., and colleagues analyzed data from 218 men, both with and without exposure to BPA in the workplace. The researchers collected urine and semen samples from the participants.

The researchers found that the men with detectable urine BPA had a greater risk of lower sperm concentration (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 3.4), lower sperm vitality (aOR, 3.3), lower sperm count (aOR, 4.1), and lower sperm motility (aOR, 2.3) compared to men with no detectable urine BPA. They also found similar associations between urine BPA and semen concentration and sperm count in the men with only environmental BPA exposure.

"The mechanisms of the reported adverse effect of BPA on semen quality are not yet completely understood, but some studies have shown that BPA may have a direct adverse impact on spermatogenesis. Oxidative stress on sperm by BPA has also been proposed as a potential mechanism for its adverse effect," the authors write. "In addition, BPA acts as an androgen receptor (AR) antagonist that interrupts the normal AR binding activity and the interaction between AR and endogenous androgens."

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