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Reprod Toxicol. 2019 Jul 9;89:67-73. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2019.07.004. [Epub ahead of print]

Oral contraceptive use and genital anomalies in sons. A Danish cohort study.

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Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark. Electronic address:
Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
Department of Public Health, Section of Epidemiology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark; Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.


Exposure to exogenous sex hormones with estrogenic or anti-androgen properties may influence intrauterine development of male genitals. This population-based cohort study based on data from 44,408 live-born singleton sons in the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC) aimed to investigate whether maternal use of oral contraceptives prior to or during early pregnancy increase the risk of cryptorchidism or hypospadias. We found no consistent association between use of oral contraceptives and cryptorchidism or hypospadias, neither in those exposed any time four months prior to conception [cryptorchidism: adjusted Odds Ratio (aOR): 1.06 (95% CI: 0.91; 1.23), hypospadias: 0.74 (95% CI: 0.53; 1.03)] nor in those exposed any time during the first trimester of pregnancy [cryptorchidism: aOR: 0.93 (95% CI: 0.53; 1.62), hypospadias: 1.02 (95% CI: 0.32; 3.23)]. Despite relatively strong exposure levels from oral contraceptive use in pregnancy, this study revealed no evidence of an increased risk of either two genital malformations.


Congenital abnormalities; Cryptorchidism; Hypospadias; Oral contraceptives; Pregnancy

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