The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of sodium fluoride (NaF) on female reproductive function and examine the morphology of the ovaries and uteri of rats exposed to NaF. Eighty female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were divided randomly into four groups of 20: one control group and three NaF treated groups. The three NaF treated groups received 100, 150, and 200 ppm, respectively, of NaF for 6 months via their drinking water, while the control group (GC) received distilled water. The levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone (T), progesterone (P) and estradiol (E2) were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Pathomorphological evaluation of the uteri and ovaries was conducted after staining with hematoxylin-eosin and immunohistochemistry. The rate of successful pregnancy in the NaF-treated groups declined in a dose-dependent manner. The concentration of reproductive hormones was significantly lower in the three NaF-treated groups, and the endometrium was damaged. The maturation of follicles was inhibited. In addition, the total number of follicles of all types was significantly lower in the NaF-treated groups. These results suggest that female reproductive function is inhibited by NaF and that exposure to NaF causes ovarian and uterine structural damage. NaF may thus significantly reduce the fertility of female rats.
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