PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose of this review is to systematically review the literature linking di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) exposure with effects on reproductive health in adult males. RECENT FINDINGS: Thirty-three papers were included of which 28 were cross-sectional. Twenty-one papers investigated semen samples, 18 investigated reproductive hormones, and three studies investigated time to pregnancy. Studies revealed some but inconsistent indications that higher urinary DEHP metabolite levels are associated with an increase in the proportion of spermatozoa with damaged DNA and to a decrease in sperm concentration and motility. A negative association between DEHP metabolites and testosterone levels was more consistent. DEHP metabolites do not seem to be associated with a delay in time to pregnancy, but data are sparse. The studies on DEHP exposure and reproductive biomarkers in men converge to support the hypothesis that DEHP exposure is related to impaired male reproductive function. Longitudinal studies are needed to establish if the observed associations are causal.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Environmental Health and Occupational Health
- Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
- Gonadal steroid hormones
- Phthalic acids
- Semen quality