While you might know that half of all infertility cases are due to male factor infertility, not enough focus or even testing is put on the man’s health before, during and after pregnancy. More and more frequently research is showing that a man’s general health and environmental exposures are an important factor not only in fertility but also in pregnancy outcome.
“Dad is sometimes an afterthought when it comes to pregnancy,” said Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH, professor of pediatrics and director of the CTIS Pregnancy Health Information Line. The CTIS is a non-profit that educates the public about exposures during pregnancy and is based at the University of California, San Diego. “But the bottom line is it’s often just as important to consider dad’s impact on a developing baby before during and after pregnancy as it is mom’s. What better time to remind the public of that significance than during Father’s Day.”
Exposures can include occupational such as heavy metal chemicals, solvents, and fumes including welding fumes. Physical agents like heat, vibration, extremes in temperature and pressure can affect a man’s physiology. Radiation including that from cell phones is suspect source of problems. Pollutants like pcbs are known to affect fertility for men and women and, though they’ve been banned, the effects still linger in the environment. “A paternal exposure is anything the father of the baby is exposed to before or during his partner’s pregnancy,” explained Chambers.
During this Father’s Day if you are considering parenthood, actively trying or in the midst of a pregnancy, take an inventory and see if you can reduce exposures and increase your chances of a healthy experience.
Source: University of California, San Diego Health Sciences, Medical News Today