Researchers found out a chemical named Phthalates that we use every day, affects tissue development in the reproductive system of female mice. A University of Illinois Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology professor of comparative biosciences, Jodi Flaws said that Phthalates are everywhere starting from personal care products to medical equipment. The new research investigated about how Phthalates affects female mice during pregnancy.
Previous research has found out that Phthalates effects female reproduction by changing organ weights and by causing ovarian cysts. In their new research, the researchers tried to look for how Phthalates affects ovarian steroidogenesis. Ovarian steroidogenesis is a process of producing hormones needed for reproduction in female mice. The researchers also explored folliculogenesis process, as it is an essential process for fertility. Follicles is the element that contain the eggs inside ovary and releases the egg during ovulation.
To conduct their research, the team of scientists have fed a pregnant female mouse either a control or a phthalate everyday in its pregnancy period. The researchers then observed the ovaries of the female offspring of the female mouse and analysed its tissues and hormone level after 60 days of their birth. The scientists examined important for fertility hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and progesterone.
The scientists observed through their experiment that those female mouse offspring whose mothers have been exposed to phthalates have lower levels of estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. Other than fertility these hormones are also important for bone health and brain development. Researchers also say that there can be other possible effect of phthalates in their body that they do not know about.
The researchers have come to a conclusion that if mother mice come in contact with phthalates during their pregnancy period, it will affect their female offspring ability to make normal levels of hormones that are essential for their body.