Normal weight in men increases the chances of a successful pregnancy
Prospective mothers have long been advised to maintain a healthy weight, because, so they have been warned, being overweight or obese reduces their chances of getting pregnant and increases the risk of miscarriage.
But now new research presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference suggests that the same advice holds true for men. Overweight or obese men reduce the chances of conception in their partners and increase the chances of miscarriage.
When researchers looked at the sperm of men in couples having problems conceiving, they found that the heaviest men had the highest proportion of abnormal sperm (sperm with damaged DNA). They also had lower volumes of seminal fluid. Men with normal weight not only had higher seminal fluid volumes but also better quality sperm.
There are a number of possible explanations as to why this occurs: different levels of hormone in obese men, overheating of the testicles caused by excessive fat in the area, or simply the lifestyle and diet that leads to obesity also causes poorer semen quality.
So if you’re a prospective father who is considering having a baby with your partner, you should try first to achieve an ideal body weight by adopting a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet, and regular exercise. Doing so will also give you a host of other health benefits.
Older men reduce the chances of conception and increase the risk of miscarriage
Prospective mothers have also been advised to not wait to have children past the age of about 35 to 38 years if they wish to increase their chances of getting pregnant and reduce the risk of miscarriage.
But new research presented at the same conference by a different group of researchers also found the same effects of decline in pregnancy rates and an increase in miscarriage rates as men get older. The risk of miscarriage rises from about 10 to 15 percent in men under 30 to about 35 percent in men over 40 years of age. The reason again is thought to be a reduction in sperm count and DNA damage to sperm that occurs in ageing men.
Up until now, it has been believed that males play no role in miscarriages, but the latest scientific findings reveal that successful pregnancy outcomes depend on both partners.