A few months ago, researchers in a preliminary study found that pregnant women with higher levels of BPA in their blood were more likely to have a miscarriage than pregnant women with lower levels of the notorious chemical. A new study has confirmed these results, calculating that women exposed to higher levels of BPA were 83 percent more likely to have a miscarriage than women with the lowest levels.
For the most recent study, researchers at Stanford University Fertility Clinic tested the blood of 115 pregnant women within about four weeks of conception. Testing for BPA - or bisphenol A - the chemical used to make certain soft plastics and linked to a number of health conditions, the researchers found that the more traces of the chemical they found in the pregnant woman's blood, the greater her risk for miscarriage.
“Couples suffering from infertility or recurrent miscarriages would be best advised to reduce BPA exposure because it has the potential to adversely affect fetal development,” wrote lead researcher Dr. Ruth Lathi, a Stanford University associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology. The study was published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.
"This study has the same flaw as other studies that attempt to measure BPA in blood at a single point in time and statistically associate that limited data with a health effect – in this case, miscarriage,” countered Kathryn St. John, a spokesperson for the American Chemistry Council, which represents chemicals manufacturers, in a prepared statement.
And she's right about that. The study doesn't explain why BPA might increase the risk for miscarriage - although the chemical has certainly been linked to abnormal egg development, reproductive development, and fertility.
Still, health experts recommend that women who are concerned about their risk for miscarriage would do well to take steps to minimize their exposure to BPA.
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