Endocrine Abstracts (2019) 65 P381 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.65.P381

Effect of endocrine disrupting chemicals on male reproductive health

Aditi Sharma1, Josephine Mollier1, Richard WK Brocklesby1, Charlotte Caves1, Channa N Jayasena1 & Suks Minhas2


1Section of Investigative Medicine, Imperial College, London, UK; 2Imperial Centre for Andrology, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK


Introduction: Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) are exogenous substances altering function(s) of the endocrine system. EDCs have been implicated in the decline in male reproductive health. We aimed to systematically review the pathophysiological effects of EDCs on male reproductive health.

Methods: Searches of EMBASE, MEDLINE and PubMed were conducted using the following terms: ‘endocrine disrupt*’ OR ‘endocrine disruptors’ OR ‘endocrine disruptor chemicals’ AND ‘men’ (‘male’ in EMBASE) AND ‘sperm*’ OR ‘spermatozoa’. Thirty human studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria.

Results: Bisphenol A (BPA) found in plastics, was negatively associated with semen motility, morphology and positively associated with sperm DNA fragmentation. Men with higher urinary insecticide levels were observed to have increasing incidence rate of sperm sex chromosome disomy. Higher median levels of arsenic metabolites and phthalate metabolites were associated with below WHO reference sperm concentration and sperm motility. Exposure to p,p-DDE was related to an increased risk of cryptorchidism, hypospadias, low sperm count and testicular cancer.

Discussion: Evidence suggests that a growing number of EDCs adversely affect sperm quality and reproductive health in men. The full, transgenerational effects of these chemicals need to be investigated to determine the potential cumulative adverse effects of EDCs on male reproductive health in successive generations. Some countries have already established regulations to remove EDCs from everyday products. These results warrant the use of alternatives to EDCs.

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