Recent reports into the male fertility crisis have revealed that the Western diet was responsible for the increasing problem. However, scientists have now discovered that the issue may actually start in the womb.
Now it seems, infertility issues can occur while male babies are still in the womb as their reproductive organs are produced. Here, we’ll look at this latest discovery scientists have made and what it means for the male fertility crisis.
Issues in womb can reduce sperm count
Recent studies have shown that poor sperm count and quality, could be down to problems experienced in the womb. When the male reproductive system is being developed in the womb, it requires a lot of delicate processes. If any of these processes are disrupted, it may cause damage which can impact fertility later in life.
One study is being carried out by the professor of paediatrics at the University College London, Alastair Sutcliffe. He is looking at data taken from 200,000 men which is currently being stored by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. His research is being carried out to determine whether infertility issues are caused by early reproduction system issues.
Male infertility also highlights disease risk
Discovering the cause of the male fertility crisis is key, not just for the population but for male health too. Numerous studies have revealed a link between those suffering from male infertility and an increased risk of serious diseases.
The Lund University in Sweden studied data taken from a staggering 1.2 million men. They discovered those who became a father via fertility treatments, were more likely to develop prostate cancer than those who produced a child naturally.
These findings have led experts to recommend men get screening tests for prostate cancer and other serious illnesses within fertility clinics. As the risks of serious disease are increased for infertile men, more screening needs to be offered to detect potential issues early on.
Lifestyle still plays a role
So, if poor sperm quality and count are linked to issues which occurred during the womb, does that mean lifestyle changes would prove useless? While some damage may be unfixable via lifestyle changes, they can still prove useful in many cases.
Many studies have been carried out recently, which have shown the effects the Western diet is having on male fertility. Processed foods are particularly linked to poor sperm quality. Obesity is another risk factor, alongside heavy drinking and drug use. So, lifestyle changes may still prove effective at boosting fertility.
Those who are experiencing fertility issues should book a consultation with a fertility specialist. Even if the problems were caused during the womb, there are still treatments and techniques available which can enable those suffering from male infertility, to have a healthy baby. However, discovering the cause of the problem is still crucial to scientists being able to come up with a solution to this growing issue. One solution they are currently looking into is reducing air pollution. This has been linked to reproductive issues developed while the baby is in the womb.