Objectives: We investigated whether in utero exposure to PFOA and PFOS affects semen quality, testicular volume, and reproductive hormone levels.
Methods: We recruited 169 male offspring (19–21 years of age) from a pregnancy cohort established in Aarhus, Denmark, in 1988–1989, corresponding to 37.6% of the eligible sons. Each man provided a semen sample and a blood sample. Semen samples were analyzed for sperm concentration, total sperm count, motility, and morphology, and blood samples were used to measure reproductive hormones. As a proxy for in utero exposure, PFOA and PFOS were measured in maternal blood samples from pregnancy week 30.
Results: Multivariable linear regression analysis suggested that in utero exposure to PFOA was associated with lower adjusted sperm concentration (ptrend = 0.01) and total sperm count (ptrend = 0.001) and with higher adjusted levels of luteinizing hormone (ptrend = 0.03) and follicle-stimulating hormone (ptrend = 0.01). PFOS did not appear to be associated with any of the outcomes assessed, before or after adjustment.
Conclusions: The results suggest that in utero exposure to PFOA may affect adult human male semen quality and reproductive hormone levels.
- prenatal exposure
- reproductive hormones
- semen quality
- adult men