Endocrine Disruptors and Pregnancy Loss

  • Molly SiegelEmail author
  • Sacha Krieg
  • Lora Shahine
Environmental Exposures and Pregnancy Outcomes (N Grindler, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Environmental Exposures and Pregnancy Outcomes


Purpose of Review

In modern society, we are exposed to a wide variety of manufactured chemical compounds, called “endocrine-disrupting chemicals” (EDCs). EDCs interact with hormone receptors and have a detrimental effect on reproduction, a complex and hormonally regulated process. Two widely prevalent groups of EDCs are bisphenols and phthalates. This review aims to evaluate and summarize current research on EDCs and their proposed relationship with increased rates of pregnancy loss.

Recent Findings

Most research focuses on one of many bisphenols, bisphenol A or BPA. Studies of BPA in animals have shown a causative effect on pregnancy loss even at low concentrations, likely through disruption of hormone receptor expression in the uterine lining that impedes implantation. Human studies have correlated levels of BPA exposure with pregnancy loss and suggest a role for synergistic effect of BPAs with other EDCs. Phthalate studies include multiple different metabolites that have variably been associated with pregnancy loss. The mechanism of phthalate effect on pregnancy loss appears to be through disruption of timing of implantation or cell apoptosis. In humans, a trend has been suggested between high levels of phthalate exposure and increased pregnancy loss.


Recent research supports an association between EDCs in the environment and pregnancy loss, particularly for BPAs, but the effect in humans is less well developed and studies appreciably limited. Further research is needed not only on the effect of these individual compounds on pregnancy loss but on which populations may be at greatest risk.


Miscarriage Pregnancy loss Infertility Endocrine disruptors Phthalates, BPAs Implantation failure Environment 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Molly Siegel, Sacha Krieg, and Lora Shahine declare no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Pacific NW Fertility and IVF Specialists and University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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