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N Engl J Med. 1987 Aug 20;317(8):474-8.

Maternal exposure to spermicides in relation to certain birth defects.

Abstract

Several studies have found no increase in the overall frequency of birth defects in association with the use of spermicides, but the possibility of an increase in specific defects remains. We evaluated this possibility in a large case-control study. Infants with certain malformations (265 with Down's syndrome, 396 with hypospadias, 146 with limb reduction defects, 116 with neoplasms, and 215 with neural-tube defects) were compared with 3442 control infants with a wide variety of other defects. Exposure to spermicides was assessed for three periods: use during the periconceptional period (one month before through one month after the last menstrual period), use during the first trimester (the first four lunar months of pregnancy), and any use during the lifetime. For the five groups of cases and for each interval, the odds ratios were close to 1.0 (range, 0.7 to 1.3); the upper 95 percent confidence bounds were 2.2 or lower. Risks did not increase with the duration of exposure. When each of the active ingredients in currently available spermicides was considered separately, no differences in odds ratios were apparent between the types of spermicides. With the possible exception of a subgroup of cases (limb reduction defects of unknown cause), these results suggest that risks for the five specific birth defects evaluated are not increased by exposure to spermicides.

PIP:

Several studies have found no increase in the overall frequency of birth defects in association with the use of spermicides, but the possibility of an increase in specific defects remains. This possibility was evaluated in a large case-control study. Infants with certain malformations (265 with Downs syndrome, 396 with hypospadias, 146 with limb reduction defects, 116 with neoplasms, and 215 with neural-tube defects) were compared with 3442 control infants with a wide variety of other defects. Exposure to spermicides was assessed for 3 periods: use during preconceptional period (1 month before through 1 month after the last menstrual period), use during the 1st trimester (the 1st 4 lunar months of pregnancy), and any use during the lifetime. For the 5 groups of cases and for each interval, the odds ratios were close to 1.0 (range 0.7 to 1.3); the upper 95% confidence bounds were 2.2 or lower. Risks did not increase with the duration of exposure. When each of the active ingredients in currently available spermicides was considered separately, no differences in odds ratios were apparent between the types of spermicides. With the possible exception of a subgroup of cases (limb reduction defects of unknown cause), these results suggest that risks for the 5 specific birth defects evaluated are not increased by exposure to spermicides.

PMID:
2956519
DOI:
10.1056/NEJM198708203170803
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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