We already know that BPA is in everything — canned foods, plastic bottles, money and even the air. And we know that it has been linked to such nasty health effects as neurological disorders, hormonal disruptions, cancer and genital abnormalities in newborn boys. The latest study involving BPA shows that it may even cause problems before you're born, affecting a woman's fertility and her ability to conceive.

In 2007 and 2008, researchers at the University of California San Francisco conducted a large-scale study of the effect of toxic metals, including mercury, cadmium and lead, on human reproduction. As part of this study, the researchers also studied a small subgroup of 26 women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) to look specifically at the impact of BPA on the success of their treatment. Their results, recently published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, shows that BPA did have an effect.

They found that the higher the levels of BPA that a woman had in her body, the lower her chances of conceiving. In fact, higher BPA levels linked to a 50 percent reduction in normal fertilization of eggs after they were retrieved for IVF. This study didn't speculate why this would happen, but in previous animal studies, researchers have found that exposing female mice to BPA can damage the genetic make-up of their eggs. If this is also true for humans, it's a serious problem that could affect millions of women, not to mention the generations to come.

BPA may influence success of in vitro fertilization
New study finds link between BPA exposure and the likelihood of success with IVF treatment.