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Fertility/Reproductive Health
Working Group

CHE's Fertility & Reproductive Health Working Group convenes over 450 diverse members around environmental impacts on fertility and reproductive health. The goal of this dynamic conversation is to discern what the science is telling us, where the research gaps are, and how we can effectively support and promote science-based education and action. Read more...

If you would like to join and are already a CHE Partner, send us an email request. Or become a CHE Partner and indicate your interest in your application.

For more information, please contact Karin Russ at karin@healthandenvironment.org.


Highlights, July/August 2014

Counseling Patients on Preventing Prenatal Environmental Exposures - A Mixed-Methods Study of Obstetricians. An on-line survey of over 2,500 obstetricians examined their attitudes and practices in counseling clients to avoid prenatal environmental exposures. The majority (78%) agreed that counseling patients is an effective means to reduce patient exposure to environmental health hazards. However, less than 20% reported routinely asking about common environmental exposures, and only 1 in 15 reported any training on the topic. This assessment represents a significant gap in the knowledge base of clinicians and provides strong rationale for additional training in reproductive environmental health.

Annual MACCHE Conference, Washington D.C. The Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment will hold its 12th annual conference on September 19th, 2014. This year’s conference will focus on healthy buildings, with an emphasis on school and medical office buildings. Participants will receive an overview of elements of a healthy building and will choose between two breakout tracks: Greening the Medical Office and Creating a Healthy School Building.

Environmental Reproductive Health News, July 2014

Assessment of estrogenic potential of diethyl phthalate in female reproductive system involving both genomic and non-genomic actions. The present study shows the estrogenic potential of diethyl phthalate (DEP). The data showed that DEP increased the transactivation of ER in CHO and MCF-7 cells suggesting its interaction with ER. In vivo parameters like increased uterine epithelial cell height and up regulation of various steroidogenic genes were also observed in adult female rats. Our uterotrophic assay data from immature female rats suggested that DEP treatment resulted in augmentation of uterine weight as well as luminal epithelial cell heights in both vaginal and uterine tissues. Further, DEP was able to upregulate pS2 gene expression with simultaneous activation of MAPK pathway as demonstrated by increased p-ERK/ERK ratio. Reproductive Toxicology.

The Navigation Guide-Evidence-Based Medicine Meets Environmental Health: Integration of Animal and Human Evidence for PFOA Effects on Fetal Growth. The Navigation Guide is a novel systematic review method to synthesize scientific evidence and reach strength-of-evidence conclusions for environmental health decision-making. The authors identified 18 epidemiology and 21 animal toxicology studies relevant to our study question, and both the human and non-human mammalian evidence as 'moderate' quality and 'sufficient' strength. Integration of these evidence ratings produced a final strength of evidence rating where review authors concluded that PFOA is 'known to be toxic' to human reproduction and development based on sufficient evidence of decreased fetal growth in both human and non-human mammalian species. Environmental Health Perspectives.

Prenatal and peripubertal phthalates and bisphenol A in relation to sex hormones and puberty in boys. Phthalates and BPA are known endocrine disruptors and exposure in pregnant mothers and children is ubiquitous. Prenatal exposure to some phthalates was associated with decreased DHEAS and inhibin B levels, and with increased SHBG. Prenatal exposure to most phthalates and BPA was associated with greatly reduced odds of adrenarche (odds ratios [OR]=0.12-0.65) and slightly reduced odds of puberty (OR=0.50-0.98). Childhood exposure was not associated with adrenarche or puberty, but some phthalates and BPA were associated with increased SHBG levels and decreased total and free testosterone levels. Reproductive Toxicology.

UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment present Visionary Leadership Awards

6/14/13: The UCSF PRHE program awarded its Visionary Leadership Award at the start of The Endocrine Society Meeting in San Francisco to three prominent leaders of professional societies. Teresa Woodruff, President-elect of The Endocrine Society, Linda Giudice, President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and Jeanne Conry, President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists were this year's recipients. The award is given to visionary leaders working to improve reproductive health by preventing harmful environmental exposures.

Pictured above (L-R) are PRHE Director, Tracey Woodruff with Linda Giudice and CHE Fertility founder, Alison Carlson. Below, Vice-Chair of CHE Michael Lerner, Alison Carlson, former CHE Fertility coordinator Julia Varshavsky, and current coordinator Karin Russ gather to commemorate the occasion.

Second Annual CHE/NIEHS Women's Environmental Reproductive Health Consortium Meeting

For additional information, visit: Women's Environmental Reproductive Health Consortium. 


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