Semin Reprod Med 2017; 35(03): 241-249
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1603569
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Environmental Contaminants Affecting Fertility and Somatic Health

Catheryne Chiang
1   Department of Comparative Biosciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois
Sharada Mahalingam
1   Department of Comparative Biosciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois
Jodi A. Flaws
1   Department of Comparative Biosciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
28 June 2017 (online)


This review article summarizes the epidemiological findings published between 2011 and 2016 concerning bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, dioxins, pesticides, air pollution, fracking chemicals, triclosan, and parabens and fertility parameters in men (i.e., semen volume, sperm concentration, sperm motility, and sperm morphology) as well as fertility parameters in women (i.e., cyclicity, fertility treatment outcomes), pregnancy outcomes (i.e., preterm birth, miscarriage), and reproductive disorders (i.e., polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids). Overall, this review indicates that several environmental toxicants are significantly associated with reduced fertility parameters in men and women as well as several reproductive disorders in women. Although many studies reported that the selected exposures are associated with adverse fertility outcomes, several studies reported null associations. Thus, future studies are still needed to better elucidate the associations and potential mechanisms between these environmental chemicals and fertility outcomes in men and women.

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