Endocrine disrupters, semen quality and anogenital distance

Tina Kold Jensen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review


The literature on effects of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (organochlorine compounds, phthalates, perfluorinated alkylated substances [PFAS], and bisphenol A [BPA]) on anogenital distance (AGD) and semen quality will be reviewed and challenges discussed. Generally, AGD appears to be a promising, easily obtainable marker of male reproductive health. Maternal exposure to phthalates has been associated with shorter AGD in male offspring although not consistently, whereas too few studies on the effects of exposure to PFAS and BPA on AGD are found to draw firm conclusion. Meta-analyses suggest that adult phthalate exposure may affect semen quality, whereas the results for the effect of PFAS and BPA exposure on semen quality are contradictory. Interestingly, few studies suggest that maternal exposure to these chemicals may affect semen quality in the offspring. It is therefore important to conduct birth cohort studies focusing on the effect of exposures during vulnerable time windows. They should include biological material and focus on multiple exposures and have the necessary size and long-term follow-up with clinical examinations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Opinion in Endocrine and Metabolic Research
Pages (from-to)34-42
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


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