Association between perfluorinated compounds and time to pregnancy in a prospective cohort of Danish couples attempting to conceive

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) have been widely used and have emerged as important food contaminants. A recent study on pregnant women suggested that PFC exposure was associated with a longer time to pregnancy (TTP). We examined the association between serum concentrations of PFCs in females and TTP in 222 Danish first-time pregnancy planners during the years 1992–1995.

METHODS

The couples were enrolled in the study when discontinuing birth control and followed for six menstrual cycles or until a clinically recognized pregnancy occurred. Fecundability ratio (FR) was calculated using discrete-time survival models. In addition, odds ratio (OR) for TTP >6 cycles was calculated.

RESULTS

OR for TTP >6 cycles for those with PFC concentrations above the median were 0.96 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.54–1.64] for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), the major PFC, compared with those below the median. FRs for those with PFOS concentrations above the median were 1.05 (95% CI: 0.74–1.48) compared with those below the median. Other PFCs showed the same lack of association with TTP. The results were not affected by adjustment for covariates. PFOS and perfluorooctanoic acid concentrations were similar to those observed in a previous Danish study.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings suggest that exposure to PFCs affects TTP only to a small extent, if at all.

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