The Connection Between Phthalates and Preterm Births

Phthalates and Preterm Births

Phthalates, a group of hormone-mimicking chemicals that are utilized in many of the products we use, may increase the risk for preterm births, a new study suggests. Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal mortality, and a recent study discovered that exposure to phthalates, even before conception, may increase the risk of preterm birth. Phthalates esters are typically found in processed foods and personal care products such as perfumes, detergents, deodorants, hair spray, shampoo, soap, and adhesives. We can be exposed to these potentially hormone-disrupting chemicals when we come into contact with products that contain phthalates and by eating certain canned and processed foods. The new study, published in JAMA Network Open, discovered there might be a connection between phthalates and preterm births.

Preterm birth, the leading cause of long-term neurological disabilities and death in children, is defined as the birth of an infant before the 37th week of pregnancy. A recent study was conducted at an academic fertility center in Boston to examine the association of phthalates and phthalate substitutes with preterm birth. For 13-years, between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2018, the Environment and Reproductive Health (EARTH) study included 419 women and 229 men who were seeking treatment at the fertility treatment center, and their 420 live-born offspring. Urine concentrations of phthalate metabolites were measured in both the men and women at the start of the study. Then again, in men at the beginning of fertility treatment, and women just before ovulation. Between the years of 2005 and 2018, of the 420 singleton births, 34 were at less than 37 weeks’ gestation. According to the results published in JAMA Network Open, preconception urinary concentrations of phthalates, 2-dicarboxylic acid monohydroxy isononyl ester (MHiNCH), and cyclohexane-1, were connected with a 50% to 70% increased risk for preterm birth. Suggesting that a child’s health can be affected, even before the mother tries to get pregnant.

This study suggests that there is a connection between phthalates and preterm births, so reducing exposure is crucial. If you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant, you must take the proper steps to decrease your exposure to phthalates. At the Salerno Center, we can test for phthalates and over 40 other different chemicals in your body, helping you reduce exposure before conceiving, as well as during your pregnancy. If you live in the NY metro area, and are planning on conceiving, or are already pregnant, contact us today to create a treatment plan that is centered around your unique needs to help lower your risk for preterm birth.

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