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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Effect of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons on Ovulatory Status in Women

  • Author(s): Flowers, Lynn Morrissey
  • Advisor(s): Luderer, Ulrike
  • et al.

The objective of this study was to investigate the hypothesis that environmental exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in reproductive age women would be associated with abnormal ovarian function, with focus on ovulation status. Urinary hydroxy-metabolites of PAHs were measured in 150 menstrual cycles of 51 women who were not on hormonal contraception and not planning on becoming pregnant. This was a convenience sample of women aged 18-44 and residing in Orange County, CA. Participants were given a fertility monitor and asked to perform daily urinary dipstick testing for measurements of urinary E13G and LH. Ovulatory status was determined from the monitor data and classified as ovulatory, anovulatory or indeterminate. Bivariate analysis including correlation and analysis of variance, and logistic regression were used to investigate relationships between PAH metabolites and ovulatory status with adjustment for age. When analyzed, it was found that there were statistically significant associations of PAH exposure and ovulatory status. Two metabolites had positive associations with anovulatory cycles, and one metabolite had a negative association with anovulatory cycles.

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