The Role of Estrogens and Estrogenic Metabolites and Male Reproductive Health Disorders

  • James GomesEmail author
  • G. Roche
Part of the From Pole to Pole book series (POLE)


In the past five decades or so, there has been an explosion of chemical compounds that has entered the market for use in industry, trade, and commerce. The chemical compounds have also permeated household cleaning and other products and also personal care products. It is believed that currently about 400 million tons of chemicals are used in commerce in the European Union for industrial, household and personal care products. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are synthetic chemicals which can interfere with endogenous sex hormone function leading to a range of developmental and reproductive anomalies. The exposure to EDC is ubiquitous because of the use of these substances in commerce, trade, household products, and personal care products and in food processing and packing. EDCs are used in pharmaceuticals, in agriculture as pesticides, in industry as additives and for their specific activities, in household and personal care products for their antibacterial and antiseptic properties, and in commerce for packaging food and as food items as in natural products (soy). This review examines the exposure to EDC among the males during embryonic and postnatal development. The impacts of exposures during different phases of life on the male reproductive health during embryonic development, adolescence, and adult life have also been explored. Human exposure to EDCs occurs through different routes including inhalation, gastric, dermal, and use of personal products; however, the biggest source of exposure is dietary for all ages. Gestational exposure occurs from maternal exposure during pregnancy, infants are exposed through milk ingestion, and adults are exposed through consumption of phytoestrogens. A range of adverse health observed in males exposed to EDC at different points in time is reported to be associated with exposure.


Androgen Receptor Sertoli Cell Leydig Cell Adverse Health Effect Testicular Cancer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Androgen receptor


Bisphenol A


Cyclic adenosine 3′ 5′-monophosphate


Dosage-sensitive sex reversal, adrenal hypoplasia critical region, on chromosome X, gene 1






Diethylhexyl phthalate




Deoxyribonucleic acid


Endocrine disruptors


Endocrine-disrupting chemicals


Estrogen receptor


Estrogen receptor alpha


Estrogen receptor beta


Follicle-stimulating hormone




Luteinizing hormone


Polychlorinated biphenyls


Polychlorinated dibenzofuran


Progestin receptor


Ribonucleic acid


Steroidogenic factor 1


Steroidogenic acute regulatory protein


Testicular dysgenesis syndrome


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health SciencesInterdisciplinary School of Health SciencesOttawaCanada
  2. 2.McLaughlin Center for Population Health Risk AssessmentOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Environmental Health Research Unit, Faculty of MedicineOttawaCanada

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