COMPARATIVE SERUM PHTHALATE CONCENTRATIONS IN FERTILE VERSUS INFERTILE MEN AND WOMEN IN SASKATCHEWAN
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Objective: To determine whether serum phthalate concentrations differ in men and women with infertility compared to those without infertility in Saskatchewan Hypothesis: Serum phthalate concentrations will be greater in men and women with infertility compared to fertile men and women Setting: Patients undergoing assisted reproduction for the treatment of infertility; healthy volunteers recruited from the community Recruitment and sample collection: Infertile couples were recruited prior to in vitro fertilization (IVF) therapy for treatment of unexplained infertility (n=15), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS, n=13), and male factor infertility (n=12); fertile men (n=15) and women (n=15) were recruited using poster advertisements. Blood samples were collected by venipuncture for phthalate analysis. Main outcome measures: Serum phthalates concentrations (ng/mL) Design: Prospective cohort pilot study Methods: In infertile couples, blood samples were collected on the following 3 days of the IVF cycle: early during ovarian stimulation, day of oocyte retrieval and day of embryo transfer. In healthy volunteers, 3 blood samples were collected over a 2 week period. Liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was conducted to quantify concentrations of four phthalates: di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP). Phthalate concentrations were compared among the four study groups using non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U post hoc tests. Results: Serum DEHP and DEP concentrations did not differ among control, unexplained, PCOS, and male factor infertility groups in both men and women (p>0.05). DBP in women did not differ among study groups (p=0.205). In contrast, DBP was lesser in men with unexplained, PCOS, and male factor infertility compared to controls (p < 0.05). Similarly, DIDP was lesser in women of couples with unexplained, PCOS and male factor infertility groups compared to fertile women (p < 0.05). Less DIDP was detected in men with unexplained and male factor infertility compared to the control group (p < 0.05) Conclusion: Serum phthalate concentrations in serum were lesser or not different in infertility patients undergoing IVF compared to fertile volunteers. These findings do not support the notion that serum phthalate concentrations are associated with human infertility. Further research is needed to determine whether phthalate concentration in blood cells and adipose tissue differ in infertile versus fertile men and women.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorBaerwald, Angela; Chizen, Donna; Giesy, John
CommitteeMcKay, Gordon; Macphee, Daniel
Copyright DateDecember 2014
Phthalates PCOS Unexplained infertility Male factor infertility