Higher BPA Levels in Pregnancy Associated With Lower Birth Weight in Girls

(HealthDay News) — Mothers with high blood levels of bisphenol A (BPA) early in pregnancy tend to have newborn girls who weigh less than girls born of mothers with low BPA levels, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Vasantha Padmanabhan, PhD, a professor of pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues took first-trimester blood samples from 61 pregnant women being treated at the University of Michigan Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital. They also sampled blood from the umbilical cord during delivery.

The investigators found that higher BPA levels were associated with lower birth weight in girls, but not in boys. A two-fold increase in maternal term BPA levels was associated with an increased gestational length of 0.7 days for all pregnancies and 1.1 days for only female pregnancies.

“There are so many differences in hormonal changes that it is hard to pinpoint a particular mediator,” Padmanabhan told HealthDay. “For example, during early development there is an initial surge of testosterone in the male fetuses that doesn’t occur in the female.”


  1. Veiga-Lopez A, Kannan K, Liao C, Ye W, Domino SE, Padmanabhan V. Gender-Specific Effects on Gestational Length and Birth Weight by Early Pregnancy BPA Exposure. J Clin Endocrinol. 2015;doi:10.1210/jc.2015-1724.