Bisphenol A (BPA) is a 'weak' endocrine disruptor. The effect of BPA on human reproduction is controversial but has been related to meiotic anomalies, recurrent spontaneous abortion, abnormal karyotypes, the diminishing of oocyte survival, delay in meiotic progression and an elevated rate of MLH1 foci in vitro. The aim of this study is to characterize the gene expression of human fetal oocytes in culture as well as to evaluate the effect of BPA in cultured human oocytes. To accomplish our objective, 12 ovaries from 6 euploid fetuses were used. The ovarian fetal tissue was cultivated in two groups: control group and BPA group (BPA30 μM). The cultures were analyzed at T0 and after 7 (T7), 14 (T14) and 21 (T21) days of culture. Evaluation of gene expression was performed by real-time PCR (RT-PCR), with the evaluated genes being: Smc1β, Sycp1 (pairing-synapsis), Spo11, Rpa, H2ax, Mlh1 and Blm [double-strand break (DSBs) generation, signaling and repair], Erα, Erβ and Errγ (estrogen receptors), Stra8 and Nalp5 (markers of meiotic progression). Oocytes from ovaries cultured and treated with BPA show changes in the expression of Spo11, H2ax and Blm genes, with a significant increase from 3- to 5-fold (P≤ 0.05). Finally, Rpa, showed a 100-fold increment (P≤ 0.01). Erα, Erβ and Errγ genes showed a BPA up-regulation of 2-4-fold in all of the culture times (P≤ 0.05). Oocytes exposed to BPA showed an up-regulation of genes involved in DSB generation, signaling and repair except by Mlh1. Thus, BPA can modify the gene expression pattern, which may explain the effects of BPA on female germ cells. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved.