Phthalate exposure and semen quality in fertile US men

S. W. Thurston, J. Mendiola, A. R. Bellamy, H. Levine, C. Wang, A. Sparks, Bruce B Redmon, E. Z. Drobnis, S. H. Swan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Several experimental and observational studies have demonstrated the antiandrogenicity of several phthalates. However, there is limited evidence of an association between phthalate exposure in adult life and semen quality. The aim of this study was to examine phthalate exposure during adulthood in relation to semen quality in fertile US men. This multi-center cross-sectional study included 420 partners of pregnant women who attended a prenatal clinic in one of five US cities during 1999–2001. Nine phthalate metabolites [mono (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), mono (2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl) phthalate (MEHHP), mono (2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate (MEOHP), and mono (2-ethyl-5-carboxypentyl) phthalate (MECPP)], as well as mono-n-butyl phthalate (MBP) and mono-isobutyl phthalate (MiBP), mono (three carboxypropyl) phthalate (MCPP), monobenzyl phthalate (MBzP), and monoethyl phthalate (MEP)] were measured in urine collected at the same time as the semen sample. We regressed natural log-transformed (ln) sperm concentration, ln(total sperm count), ln(total motile sperm count), percent motile spermatozoa, and percent spermatozoa with normal morphology on each of the nine natural log-transformed metabolite concentrations and on the molar-weighted sum of DEHP metabolites in separate models. We fit unadjusted models and models that adjusted for confounders determined a priori. In unadjusted models, ln(MiBP) was significantly and positively associated with motility and ln(MBzP) significantly negatively associated with ln(total sperm count). In adjusted linear models, urinary metabolite concentrations of DEHP, DBP, DEP, and DOP were not associated with any semen parameter. We found an inverse association between ln(MBzP) concentrations and sperm motility (β = −1.47, 95% CI: −2.61, −0.33), adjusted for ln(creatinine concentration), geographic location, age, race, smoking status, stress, recent fever, time from sample collection and time to complete analysis. Several sensitivity analyses confirmed the robustness of these associations. This study and the available literature suggest that impacts of adult exposure to phthalates at environmental levels on classical sperm parameters are likely to be small.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)632-638
Number of pages7
JournalAndrology
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

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Semen Analysis
Sperm Count
Spermatozoa
Diethylhexyl Phthalate
Semen
phthalic acid
Geographic Locations
Sperm Motility
Observational Studies
Pregnant Women
Linear Models
Creatinine
Fever
Cross-Sectional Studies
Smoking
Quality of Life
Urine

Keywords

  • endocrine disruption
  • epidemiology
  • phthalates
  • reproduction
  • semen quality

Cite this

Thurston, S. W., Mendiola, J., Bellamy, A. R., Levine, H., Wang, C., Sparks, A., ... Swan, S. H. (2016). Phthalate exposure and semen quality in fertile US men. Andrology, 4(4), 632-638. https://doi.org/10.1111/andr.12124

Phthalate exposure and semen quality in fertile US men. / Thurston, S. W.; Mendiola, J.; Bellamy, A. R.; Levine, H.; Wang, C.; Sparks, A.; Redmon, Bruce B; Drobnis, E. Z.; Swan, S. H.

In: Andrology, Vol. 4, No. 4, 01.07.2016, p. 632-638.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Thurston, SW, Mendiola, J, Bellamy, AR, Levine, H, Wang, C, Sparks, A, Redmon, BB, Drobnis, EZ & Swan, SH 2016, 'Phthalate exposure and semen quality in fertile US men', Andrology, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 632-638. https://doi.org/10.1111/andr.12124
Thurston SW, Mendiola J, Bellamy AR, Levine H, Wang C, Sparks A et al. Phthalate exposure and semen quality in fertile US men. Andrology. 2016 Jul 1;4(4):632-638. https://doi.org/10.1111/andr.12124
Thurston, S. W. ; Mendiola, J. ; Bellamy, A. R. ; Levine, H. ; Wang, C. ; Sparks, A. ; Redmon, Bruce B ; Drobnis, E. Z. ; Swan, S. H. / Phthalate exposure and semen quality in fertile US men. In: Andrology. 2016 ; Vol. 4, No. 4. pp. 632-638.
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