A new study has suggested that men who are born underweight are likely to have fertility issues in adulthood. The research has found out that baby boys who weigh less than 6Ibs 9oz are at a 55 percent higher risk of infertility. However, there is no significant risk of infertility for baby girls who weigh less than their gestational age. Scientists from Denmark have followed around 5594 men and 5342 women who have born from 1984 to 1987. They have observed these participants through their adulthood until the age of 32 years. Researchers have seen that men, who have weighed under 6Ibs, have been at 55 percent increased risk of infertility as compared to adults born with appropriate weight. Although around 5.7 percent, men in the normal population are supposed to suffer from infertility. At the same time, for men born underweight, the figures have increased to 8.7 percent.
While explaining the cause of the risk of infertility, researchers have said that suboptimal growth of the fetus in the womb prompts defects in the penis and testicles. Defects in the reproductive organs can trigger problems in the development of the sperm in adulthood. Mothers’ lifestyle and health can also be detrimental to the growth of the fetus. Other researches have also shown a possible link between poor growth of the fetus and increased risk of problems with reproductive tracts in boys. Scientists have said that small babies tend to suffer Hypospadias, where the opening of the urethra is not placed at the tip of the penis where it should be. This condition as well is associated with fertility issues.
Researchers have also analyzed a condition called Cryptorchidism, which was common in baby boys born underweight. Cryptorchidism drastically reduces the sperm count. In this condition, testicles of the babies fail to descend from the abdomen into the scrotum during puberty. Scientists have found out the weaker link between small gestational age and infertility after excluding the men born with Cryptorchidism and Hypospadias. It indicates that Cryptorchidism and Hypospadias play a bigger role in the association between gestational weight and risk of infertility. The new study was published in the journal of Human Reproduction. Scientists have also said that participants of the study have not reached their reproductive life yet. Moreover, it will be interesting to see what the situation will be in another ten years.