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  • Bjorvang, Richelle D., et al. (författare)
  • Persistent organic pollutants, pre-pregnancy use of combined oral contraceptives, age, and time-to-pregnancy in the SELMA cohort
  • 2020
  • Ingår i: Environmental health. - : BMC. - 1476-069X .- 1476-069X. ; 19:1
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Background We are exposed to several chemicals such as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in our everyday lives. Prior evidence has suggested that POPs may have adverse effects on reproductive function by disrupting hormone synthesis and metabolism. While there is age-related decline of fertility, the use of hormonal combined oral contraceptives (COCs) and its association to return of fertility remains controversial. The goal of this study is to investigate the association between exposure to POPs, both individually and as a mixture, and fecundability measured as time-to-pregnancy (TTP) according to pre-pregnancy use of COCs and age. Methods Using the SELMA (Swedish Environmental Longitudinal Mother and Child, Allergy and Asthma) study, we have identified 818 pregnant women aged 18-43 years (mean 29 years) with data on how long they tried to get pregnant and what was their most recently used contraceptive method. These data were collected at enrollment to the study (median week 10 of pregnancy). Concentrations of 22 POPs and cotinine were analyzed in the blood samples collected at the same time as the questions on TTP and pre-pregnancy use of contraceptive. Analyses were done on the association between POPs exposure and TTP measured as continuous (months) and binary (infertile for those with TTP > 12 months). To study the chemicals individually, Cox regression and logistic regression were used to estimate fecundability ratios (FRs) and odds ratios (ORs), respectively. Weighted quantile sum (WQS) regression was used to investigate the chemicals as a mixture where chemicals of concern were identified above the 7.6% threshold of equal weights. To perform the subgroup analysis, we stratified the sample according to use of COCs as the most recent pre-pregnancy contraception method and age (< 29 years, and >= 29 years). The models were adjusted for parity, regularity of menses, maternal body mass index (BMI) and smoking status, and stratified as described above. Results Prior to stratification, none of the POPs were associated with fecundability while increased exposure to HCB, PCB 74 and 118 had higher odds of infertility. Upon stratification, POP exposure was significantly associated with longer TTP in women aged >= 29 years who did not use COC. Specifically, PCBs 156, 180, 183, and 187 were associated with reduced fecundability while PCBs 99, 153, 156, 180, 183, and 187 had higher odds of infertility. As a mixture, we identified the chemicals of concern for a longer TTP include PCBs 118, 156, 183, and 187. Moreover, chemicals of concern identified with increased odds of infertility were PCB 74, 156, 183, 187, and transnonachlor. Conclusion Serum concentrations of selected POPs, both as individual chemicals and as a mixture, were significantly associated with lower fecundability and increased odds of infertility in women aged 29 years and above not using COC as their most recent pre-pregnancy contraceptive. Our findings suggest that pre-pregnancy use of oral contraceptive and age may modify the link between POPs and fecundability. The differences of specific chemicals in the individual analysis and as a mixture support the need to study combination effects of chemicals when evaluating reproductive outcomes.
  • Björvang, Richelle D., et al. (författare)
  • Persistent organic pollutants and the size of ovarian reserve in reproductive-aged women
  • 2021
  • Ingår i: Environment International. - : Elsevier. - 0160-4120 .- 1873-6750. ; 155
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Industrial chemicals such as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have been associated with reduced fertility in women, including longer time-to-pregnancy (TTP), higher odds for infertility, and earlier reproductive senescence. Fertility is highly dependent on the ovarian reserve, which is composed of a prenatally determined stock of non-growing follicles. The quantity and quality of the follicles decline with age, thereby eventually leading to menopause. In the clinical setting, assessing ovarian reserve directly through the histological analysis of follicular density in ovaries is not practical. Therefore, surrogate markers of ovarian reserve, such as serum anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) are typically used. Here, we studied associations between chemical exposure and ovarian reserve in a cohort of pregnant women undergoing elective caesarean section (n = 145) in Stockholm, Sweden. Full data (histological, clinical, serum) were available for 50 women. We estimated the size of the reserve both directly by determining the density of follicles in ovarian cortical tissue samples, and indirectly by measuring AMH in associated serum samples. Concentrations of 9 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), 10 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 3 polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) and 9 perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were determined in serum, and clinical data were retrieved from electronic medical records. Healthy follicle densities (median 0, range 0–193 follicles/mm3) and AMH levels (median 2.33 ng/mL, range 0.1–14.8 ng/mL) varied substantially. AMH correlated with the density of growing follicles. Twenty-three chemicals detected in more than half of the samples were included in the analyses. None of the chemicals, alone or as a mixture, correlated with AMH, growing or atretic follicles. However, HCB, transnonachlor, PCBs 74 and 99 were associated with decreased non-growing follicle densities. HCB and transnonachlor were also negatively associated with healthy follicle density. Further, mixture of lipophilic POPs (PBDE 99, p,p’-DDE, and PCB 187) was associated with lower non-growing follicle densities. In addition, exposure to HCB, p,p’-DDE, and mixture of OCPs were significantly associated with higher odds of infertility. The results suggest that exposure to chemicals may reduce the size of ovarian reserve in humans, and strongly encourage to study mechanisms behind POP-associated infertility in women in more detail.
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