Endocrine disruptors threatens semen quality
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Sexual differentiation, development and proper functioning of the reproductive system are largely dependent on steroid hormones. Although there is some animal evidence, studies on maternal exposure to EDCs during pregnancy and its effect on the semen quality of sons are scarce and none have focused on maternal occupational exposure.

A cross-sectional study aiming to evaluate semen quality was carried out among Swiss conscripts aged 18 to 22?years.

Conscript and parent questionnaires were completed prior to the collection of a semen sample. Semen parameters were categorized according to the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO). Data on maternal employment during pregnancy were provided by the parent questionnaire. Maternal occupational exposure to potential EDC categories was defined using a job-exposure matrix (JEM). Logistic regressions were used to analyze the relationship between maternal occupational exposure to EDCs and each semen parameter adjusted for potential confounding factors.

In total, 1,737 conscripts provided a conscript and parent questionnaire, as well as a semen sample; among these 1,045 of their mothers worked during pregnancy. This study suggests an association between occupational exposure of mothers during pregnancy to potential EDCs and low semen volume and total sperm count, particularly for exposure to pesticides, phthalates, and heavy metals. Maternal occupational exposure to heavy metals was additionally associated with a low sperm concentration.

These observations reinforce the need to inform pregnant women of potential hazards during pregnancy that could impair their child’s fertility. Additional studies are needed to confirm the involvement of EDCs.

Source: https://academic.oup.com/humrep/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/humrep/deab034/6174711?redirectedFrom=fulltext