Are environmental levels of bisphenol a associated with reproductive function in fertile men?

Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Sep;118(9):1286-91. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1002037. Epub 2010 May 21.


Background: Rodent and in vitro studies have demonstrated the estrogenicity of bisphenol A (BPA). However, few studies have examined the relationship between human exposure to BPA and male reproductive function.

Objectives: We investigated the relationships between environmental BPA exposure and reproductive parameters, including semen quality and male reproductive hormones, in prospectively recruited fertile men.

Methods: Participants (n = 375) were partners of pregnant women who participated in the Study for Future Families in four U.S. cities, and all of the men provided blood, semen, and urine samples. BPA was measured in urine. Serum samples were analyzed for reproductive hormones, including follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone, inhibin B, estradiol, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), as well as the free androgen index (FAI). Semen analyses were performed according to World Health Organization criteria. Pearson correlations were used for unadjusted analyses, and multiple linear regression analyses were used to examine associations controlling for age, body mass index, smoking, ethnicity, urinary creatinine concentration, time of sample collection, and duration of abstinence.

Results: After multivariate adjustment, we observed no significant associations between any semen parameter and urinary BPA concentration. However, a significant inverse association was found between urinary BPA concentration and FAI levels and the FAI/LH ratio, as well as a significant positive association between BPA and SHBG.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that, in fertile men, exposure to low environmental levels of BPA may be associated with a modest reduction in markers of free testosterone, but any effects on reproductive function are likely to be small, and of uncertain clinical significance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Fertility / drug effects*
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Inhibins / blood
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenols / toxicity*
  • Phenols / urine
  • Semen / drug effects*
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / metabolism
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Phenols
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • inhibin B
  • Testosterone
  • Inhibins
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • bisphenol A