Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

PCBs may affect in vitro fertilization outcomes

Date:
February 27, 2011
Source:
Environmental Health Perspectives (NIEHS)
Summary:
Serum polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at concentrations found in the general U.S. population are associated with the failure of fertilized embryos to implant in the uterus after in vitro fertilization (IVF). This study may help explain earlier reports of impaired reproduction and increased time to pregnancy among women exposed to PCBs.

According to a new study published February 24 in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), serum polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at concentrations found in the general U.S. population are associated with the failure of fertilized embryos to implant in the uterus after in vitro fertilization (IVF). This study may help explain earlier reports of impaired reproduction and increased time to pregnancy among women exposed to PCBs. "Our findings provide insight into a specific time point following conception that determines whether a pregnancy will occur that may be particularly sensitive to PCB exposure," says lead author John Meeker.

Related Articles


PCBs were banned in the United States and other developed countries in the 1970s, but they persist in the environment due to prior widespread use and resistance to breakdown. Exposure to PCBs occurs mainly through contaminated foods and is associated with adverse health effects, including negative impacts on reproduction.

By conducting the current study with women undergoing IVF, the researchers could examine events during early pregnancy that are difficult or impossible to assess in the general population. "Not only do couples undergoing assisted reproduction represent a growing proportion of the population, but they also provide a unique opportunity to study factors related to very early [pregnancy] losses that usually go undetected and contribute to fertility issues," Dr. Meeker says.

The women were recruited between August 1994 and June 2003. Blood was collected before each woman's IVF attempt, and concentrations of 57 individual PCBs were measured in the women's serum (a component of the blood). Among 765 women and 827 IVF cycles, there were 286 live births and 530 pregnancy losses -- 229 implantation failures, 177 very early miscarriages (or "chemical pregnancies"), and 124 later miscarriages.

In their analysis, the researchers examined the associations between IVF outcomes and concentrations of individual PCBs known as congeners 118, 138, and 153, as well as the sum of all congeners. PCBs were also grouped according to their structure and biological activity.

After controlling for confounders, the researchers found that implantation failure was twice as likely in women with the highest exposures to PCB-153 and total PCBs than in women with the lowest exposures. The odds of a live birth were reduced more than 40% in these women. The strengths of this study are its prospective design, detailed clinical data, the relatively large number of observations, and the fact that the researchers were able to directly measure women's PCB levels, which reflected exposures consistent with those in the general population. Limitations include the possibility that women undergoing IVF have a different response to PCBs than women in the general population and the lack of exposure data on the women's partners.

Co-author Dr. Russ Hauser notes, "Early pregnancy end points were shown in experimental animals to be more sensitive than later end points. Therefore, IVF as a model to study the impact of environmental chemicals on early pregnancy is the only way we can observe these end points in women."

Other authors of the paper include Arnab Maity, Stacey A. Missmer, Paige L. Williams, Shruthi Mahalingaiah, Shelley Ehrlich, Katharine F. Berry, Larisa Altshul, Melissa J. Perry, and Daniel W. Cramer. Support was provided by the National Institutes of Health, by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Environmental Health Perspectives (NIEHS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. John D. Meeker, Arnab Maity, Stacey A. Missmer, Paige L. Williams, Shruthi Mahalingaiah, Shelley Ehrlich, Katharine F. Berry, Larisa Altshul, Melissa J. Perry, Daniel W. Cramer, Russ Hauser. Serum Concentrations of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in Relation to in Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Outcomes. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2011; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1002922

Cite This Page:

Environmental Health Perspectives (NIEHS). "PCBs may affect in vitro fertilization outcomes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110226222737.htm>.
Environmental Health Perspectives (NIEHS). (2011, February 27). PCBs may affect in vitro fertilization outcomes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110226222737.htm
Environmental Health Perspectives (NIEHS). "PCBs may affect in vitro fertilization outcomes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110226222737.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins