Bisphenol A or BPA is a compound which is part of many plastics and used in a variety of products such as baby and water bottles, and other devices. Experts have noted several health risks associated with BPA in recent years, but no human studies have linked this chemical to infertility or reduced fertility, until now.

In a study completed at the University of Michigan, 190 male participants were evaluated and tested for concentrations of BPA, Bisphenol A, in urinary output. Sperm samples were taken the same day urine samples were collected. Samples were tested for concentration of sperm, motility of sperm, shape and damage to DNA. Rodent studies have already noted a negative effect on sperm health with high concentrations of BPA -this human study is the first step in verifying the health risks associated with BPA.

Men who tested highest for urinary BPA levels also tested lowest for sperm concentrations. According to researchers, high concentrations of BPA reduced total sperm count by 23%. Sperm DNA damage increased by 10%.

While this step forward is important in terms of giving validity to health claims involving BPA, experts noted a larger study would be needed for optimal results and a better understanding of the link between BPA and sperm count / health. It is thought that BPA may mimic hormones in the body thus causing imbalances and decreased sperm count and diminished health.

According to a study published in 2004, BPA increases overall testosterone in the blood which can decrease sperm count. Further study linking testosterone levels and BPA may help link the two together.

Source: John Meeker, Russ Hauser - University of Michigan via MedicalNewsToday - 5 Aug 2010