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Association of urinary concentrations of phthalate metabolites and bisphenol A with early pregnancy endpoints

Chin, Helen B., Jukic, Anne Marie, Wilcox, Allen J., Weinberg, Clarice R., Ferguson, Kelly K., Calafat, Antonia M., McConnaughey, D. Robert, Baird, Donna D.
Environmental research 2019 v.168 pp. 254-260
biomarkers, bisphenol A, conception, corpus luteum, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, human chorionic gonadotropin, metabolites, ovulation, phthalates, pollution, pregnancy, progesterone, urine, women
Phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) are environmental contaminants that may affect early embryonic development.To assess the association between phthalate metabolites and BPA with early pregnancy endpoints in a cohort of women followed from before conception.We quantified 11 phthalate metabolites and BPA in 137 conception cycles from naturally conceived clinical pregnancies. Phthalate metabolites and BPA concentrations were measured in a pooled sample of three daily morning urine specimens. Daily urinary hormone measurements had previously been used to define ovulation, implantation, and corpus luteum rescue. We assessed associations between conception cycle exposures (phthalate biomarkers and BPA) and 1) time from ovulation to implantation; 2) type of corpus luteum rescue (timing and pattern of rise in progesterone: early, late, or no rise); and 3) rate of initial rise in hCG.Mono(3-carboxypropyl) phthalate (MCPP) and mono-isobutyl phthalate (MiBP) were associated with earlier implantation (6–8 days vs. 9 days (the most commonly observed); per natural log-unit, OR (95% CI) = 2.8 (1.2, 6.7) and OR (CI) = 2.1 (1.2, 3.7), respectively). Monoethyl phthalate (MEP) was associated with later implantation (10–12 days vs. 9 days); OR (CI) = 1.5 (1.0, 2.1). Compared with implantation on day 9, BPA was significantly associated with both earlier and later implantation (OR=2.2 for both). Women with concentrations above the median of monobenzyl phthalate (MBzP) (p = 0.04) or above the median of the molar sum of four di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate metabolites (∑DEHP) (p = 0.08) had a slower initial rise in hCG. Increasing MCPP was associated with an increased odds of a late rise rescue (OR (CI) = 2.9 (1.0, 8.5); late rise vs. early rise), while increasing MEP was associated with a no rise rescue (OR (CI) = 1.6 (0.9, 2.8); no rise vs. early rise).The reported associations varied in their direction of effect, some potentially protective, others adverse. This may reflect the complexity with which these potential endocrine disrupting chemicals can be acting, but chance findings are also possible. Given that women continue to be exposed to these compounds (or their precursors), continued research on the effects they may have on pregnancy is warranted.