Research out of the University at Albany, State of New York, last month found a link between exposure to a component in plastics and resins calls bisphenol A (BPA) and a drop in estrogen levels among women undergoing a round of in vitro fertilization (IVF). The researchers concluded that the BPA – which is found in the linings of canned foods, plastic food containers and other plastics -- could hurt the quality of follicles, which contain eggs to be fertilized.
The study wasn’t a big one – just 44 women undergoing a round of IVF were studied – but the scientists did note that in women whose blood contained a higher concentration of BPA, “peak levels of blood estrogen” were lower. In a press release, the study’s lead author, Victor Y. Fujimoto, clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive services at the University of California, San Francisco, noted that “[Physicians] use estrogen measurements as predictors of ovarian response to stimulating medications during IVF. The appropriate rise of estrogen during stimulation is critical to ensuring the harvesting of healthy eggs. Identification of an environmental disruptor such as BPA that may adversely influence the measurement of the female hormone, estrogen, is obviously an important finding.”
So do your best to limit your exposure to BPA in general, and especially when you’re undergoing ART. The most common sources of BPA are plastic bottles, children’s drink cups, plastic food containers, linings of canned foods, and thermal transfer paper, such as shopping receipts. The Environmental Working Group has a nice summary of how to avoid BPA exposure here.
How do you prepare your body for a round of IVF or other ART procedure?