Health

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Male Reproductive Health ‘Determined in the Womb’

May 23, 2008 08:15 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Conditions during pregnancy may cause a range of genital disorders among men. New threats to male reproductive health have come to light recently.

30-Second Summary

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Research conducted on mice by the University of Edinburgh indicates that low levels of male hormones, known as androgens, “at the equivalent to 8–12 weeks human gestation” may result in disorders such as low sperm count and testicular cancer, reports the BBC.

The head of the study, Dr. Michelle Welsh, was surprised that the low androgen levels made such a difference that early on in pregnancy.

According to Professor Richard Sharpe, co-author of the study, one in five young men suffer from a sperm count that could make it hard for them to conceive.

The findings comes on the heels of other recent studies related to fertility, sperm count and genetics.

The results of a University of Idaho study appeared in February, calling attention to the effect of a father’s health on his children. The study found that certain sperm defects, perhaps caused by smoking or drinking, might be passed down to future generations.

“In experiments on rats Matthew Anway of the University of Idaho found that some garden chemicals caused problems such as damaged and overgrown prostates, infertility and kidney problems, all of which were present up to four generations later,” according to The Guardian.

In addition, on March 7 the Italian publication Corriere Della Sera reported on research citing a drastic fall in the active sperm counts of Italian men. Active Italian sperm counts have halved since the 1970s, according to the study. The count is lower in larger cities than smaller towns and villages, possibly owing to environmental factors.

Headline Link: ‘Male Fertility “Set in the Womb”’

Background: Sperm defects may be passed down through generations

Related Links: Declining sperm counts

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