BOSTON — CPG manufacturers may have another reason to ensure their products can be advertised as "BPA-free." Exposure to BPA (Bisphenol-A) could be a contributing factor to why some couples are having difficulty conceiving, reported Catherine Racowsky, director of the Assisted Reproductive Technologies Laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital and author of the BPA study.
"To our knowledge, this is the first study that has shown that BPA has a direct effect on egg maturation in humans," Racowsky said. "Because exposure to BPA is so ubiquitous, patients and medical professionals should be aware that BPA may cause a significant disruption to the fundamentals of the human reproductive process and may play a role in unexplained infertility."
According to the background information associated with the study, as many as 20% of infertile couples in the United States have unexplained reasons for their infertility.
Researchers found that exposure to BPA caused a decrease in the percentage of eggs that matured; an increase in the percentage of eggs that degenerated; and an increase in the percentage of eggs that underwent spontaneous activation, the abnormal process when an egg acts as though it has been fertilized, even though it has not been.
The study was published Wednesday in the journal Human Reproduction.