The Endocrine SocietyThe main causes of PCOS have not yet been identified. Now, women with the PCOS are said to be more susceptible to exposure of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) found in many plastic households. According to a new study, PCOS is known to be the most common hormone imbalance among women of reproductive age. BPA is elevated and linked with greater levels of male hormones present in the blood of women with PCOS as compared to healthy women.

Experts identified these findings to be seemingly true for both lean and obese women with PCOS. Extreme secretion of androgens is prominent in PCOS. They also identified that the syndrome increased the risk of infertility, obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. Previous analysis indicated greater BPA in women who had repeated miscarriages.

Evanthia Diamanti-Kandarakis, MD, PhD, study co-author and professor at the University Of Athens Medical School in Greece suggested that “Women with the polycystic ovary syndrome should be alert regarding this environmental contaminant’s potential adverse effects on reproductive aspects of their health problem”.

Food and beverage containers made of polycarbonate hard plastic or creased with epoxy resins, or from some dental sealants and composites apparently cause BPA to seep into the bloodstream. Experts divided 71 women with PCOS and 100 healthy female control subjects into subgroups on the basis of age and body composition. Blood levels of BPA were 60 percent higher in lean women with PCOS and in obese women with the syndrome it was greater than 30 percent as compared to the control group.

Diamanti-Kandarakis revealed that as the BPA blood level augmented the concentration of the male sex hormone testosterone and androstenedione also increased. Even though BPA is a weak estrogen, unwarranted secretion of androgens as observed in PCOS thwarts with BPA detoxification by the liver. This leads to collection of blood levels of BPA.

BPA affects androgen metabolism that creates a brutal circle between androgens and BPA. Experts suggest women with PCOS may want to reduce exposure to BPA. In addition they say that it is not yet proved that lowering BPA levels in PCOS may have positive effects.

These results were presented at The Endocrine Society’s 92nd Annual Meeting in San Diego.