Toxic trace metals and human oocytes during in vitro fertilization (IVF)

Michael S. Bloom, Patrick J. Parsons, Amy J. Steuerwald, Enrique F. Schisterman, Richard W. Browne, Keewan Kim, Gregory A. Coccaro, Giulia C. Conti, Natasha Narayan, Victor Y. Fujimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trace exposures to the toxic metals mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) may threaten human reproductive health. The aim of this study is to generate biologically-plausible hypotheses concerning associations between Hg, Cd, and Pb and in vitro fertilization (IVF) endpoints. For 15 female IVF patients, a multivariable log-binomial model suggests a 75% reduction in the probability for a retrieved oocyte to be in metaphase-II arrest for each μg/dL increase in blood Pb concentration (relative risk (RR)=0.25, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.03-2.50, P=0.240). For 15 male IVF partners, each μg/L increase in urine Cd concentration is associated with an 81% decrease in the probability for oocyte fertilization (RR=0.19, 95% CI 0.03-1.35, P=0.097). Because of the magnitude of the effects, these results warrant a comprehensive study with sufficient statistical power to further evaluate these hypotheses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-305
Number of pages8
JournalReproductive Toxicology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Assisted reproductive technologies (ART)
  • Cadmium (Cd)
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF)
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
  • Lead (Pb)
  • Mercury (Hg)
  • Oocyte fertilization
  • Oocyte maturation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


Dive into the research topics of 'Toxic trace metals and human oocytes during in vitro fertilization (IVF)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this