Trends in semen quality – impact of prenatal and current lifestyle - EDMaRC

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Trends in semen quality – impact of prenatal and current lifestyle

Main Researcher: Lærke Priskorn

Other Researchers:
  Niels Jørgensen
Objective: To investigate trends in a range of prenatal and current lifestyle factors and the association to semen quality in Danish men from the general population.  
Description: From 1996, approximately 300 participants per year have been included prospectively in the Male Reproductive Health Study with semen sample, blood sample, physical examination and questionnaire data. Based on data from more than 20 years, we investigate temporal trends in lifestyle factors, such as body mass index (BMI), alcohol intake, smoking, maternal smoking during pregnancy and the parents’ age at conception, and the association to semen quality. With this we try to identify causes for the poor semen quality among young Danish men, which could potentially be prevented. Furthermore, we seek to discriminate between men with poor semen quality due to prenatal versus postnatal factors. For this, we have also measured the distance between the anus and the genitals (the anogential distance, AGD) in the young men. This distance is approximately twice as long in males compared to females, and a shorter distance in males has been proposed to be a marker of insufficient levels of testosterone in pregnancy during the period where the male reproductive organs were developed, leading to reduced testicular function in adulthood. A reduction in male AGD can be caused by exposure to e.g. endocrine disrupting compounds of the pregnant woman affecting the fetus. Men with poor semen quality but a normal length AGD might have potential to improve their semen quality through lifestyle changes whereas men with short AGD might not be able to and thus should be considered for fertility treatment earlier if they wish to have children. 
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