Today, more than 800 chemical products categorized as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) may strongly affect hormone receptors, act as agonists or antagonists, and lead to clinical symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
Recent studies showed many women exposed to chemical compounds have a genetic susceptibility to developing PCOS or Endometriosis and several related metabolic disorders. Time of exposure to these endocrine disruptors is crucial to determine their effect, especially during fetal development, given their potential harmful effects to pregnancy hormones and fetal cellular programming. It became clear to scientists that harmful effects of environmental exposures can affect offsprings up to 3 generations.
An observational study with female rats given high doses of EDCs such as BPA( found in plastic containers, receipts, lotto tickest…) in the neonatal stage resulted in adult PCOS phenotypes with increased plasma testosterone and estradiol levels, decreased progesterone levels, and development of ovarian cysts (FernÃ¡ndez et al., 2010). FernÃ¡ndez et al. (2009)
In general, endocrine disruptors can jeopardize the health of men and women. EDCs can mimic normal hormones and occupy the receptors inside the body and cause similar symptoms that we can observe in case of too much hormones or hormone deficiencies such as weight gain, cancer in both men and women.