10. Female exposure to phenols and phthalates and time to pregnancy: the Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) Study (abstract)

Vélez MP, Arbuckle TE, Fraser WD. Fertility and Sterility. 2015;103(4):1011-1020.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2015.01.005


To assess the potential effect of bisphenol A (BPA), triclosan (TCS), and phthalates on women’s fecundity, as measured by time to pregnancy (TTP).


Pregnancy-based retrospective TTP study.


Not applicable.


A total of 2,001 women during the first trimester of pregnancy recruited between 2008 and 2011 (the Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) Study), with 1,742 women included in the BPA analysis, 1,699 in the TCS analysis, and 1,597 in the phthalates analysis.



Main Outcome Measure(s)

Fecundability odds ratios (FORs) estimated using the Cox model modified for discrete time data.


The BPA concentrations were not statistically significantly associated with diminished fecundity either in crude or adjusted models. Women in the highest quartile of TCS (>72 ng/mL) had evidence of decreased fecundity (FOR 0.84; 95% confidence interval, 0.72–0.97) compared with the three lower quartiles as the reference group. Exposure to phthalates was suggestive of a shorter TTP, as indicated by FORs greater than 1, although the 95% confidence interval always included 1.


Elevated TCS exposure may be associated with diminished fecundity. BPA and phthalates showed no negative impact; on the contrary, some phthalates might be associated with a shorter time to pregnancy. A major limitation of the study was that only one measurement of exposure was available for each woman after conception. Further research is necessary to test these findings.