Association between Perfluoroalkyl Substances in Follicular Fluid and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in Infertile Women

By Sen Li, Guojing Li, Yu Lin, Feng Sun, Liqiang Zheng, Yingying Yu, and Hong Xu
January 26, 2024
DOI: 10.3390/toxics12020104

In recent years, perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), a family of fluorinated organic com pounds, have garnered much attention due to their reproductive and developmental toxicity in humans. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a prevalent endocrine disease that affects women of reproductive age and is a significant contributor to female infertility. A previous study suggested that PFASs play a possible role in PCOS. We conducted a clinical study investigating the relationship between PCOS and PFAS in follicular fluid. A total of 73 infertile patients with PCOS and 218 controls were recruited from the International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital, affiliated with the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. The concentrations of 12 PFASs in follicular fluid samples and sex hormones in serum were measured. Correlation analysis and multiple linear regression revealed a positive relationship between perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and testosterone (T) concentrations. The adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for each PFAS were estimated using multivariable logistic regression and quantile-based g-computation (QGC). The PFOA concentrations in follicular fluid were correlated with increased odds of PCOS (second vs. first quartile: OR = 3.65, 95% CI: 1.47–9.05, p = 0.005; third vs. first quartile: OR = 2.91, 95% CI: 1.17–7.26, p = 0.022; fourth vs. first quartile: OR = 3.13, 95% CI: 1.21–8.09, p = 0.019; P for trend = 0.032). This association was confirmed with QGC. Mediation analysis suggested that the mediation effect of T in association with PFOA and PCOS was not statistically significant. Our study suggests that PFOA may be a risk factor for PCOS.


View on MDPI