Having a baby is the dream of so many couples. One of the first steps in having a baby is to make sure the parents are in good health.
Even though we talk about the health of both parents, we usually focus on the health and fertility of the mother. However the health and fertility of the father before conception can impact the child’s health.
Men! It is important for you to understand that your health also plays a role in your child’s health.
Men need to be tested for infertility issues, just like women. Men can go to an urologist for a physical exam and semen analysis. The semen analysis can detect the number of sperm and the motility of the sperm, as well.
Not only should men be tested for infertility, but they should also consider lifestyle issues that can impact fertility and children’s health after birth. Lifestyle issues like food choices, obesity, smoking habits and work place chemical exposure can impact children’s health after they are born.
Food can be an important part of the fertility process, and it can affect the viability of sperm.
An article fromTheconversation.com said that “our research shows that male diet prior to conception – particularly a fast-food-based diet – can be significantly detrimental to pregnancy success.” The article implies that eating fast food is the reason some men are obese. The article goes on to explain that obese men have lower fertility rates than men of normal weight.
Using mice to test the effect obesity has on pregnancy outcomes, the researchers used sperm from obese male mice to fertilize eggs. They found that those eggs were not able to implant as effectively into a mother’s uterus. Of the embryos that were able to successfully implant to the mother, the babies were of lower birth weights than normal.
Low birth weights can set children up for chronic diseases as adults such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
The article indicated that studies performed in humans have supported the finding that obesity affects both male and female ability to conceive.
Viability of sperm can be measured by the motility of sperm.
Poor motility is a sign of sperm-DNA damage caused by free radical damage.
Foods that are highly processed, fried or cooked at a high temperature have higher levels of free radicals. When men ingest those foods, they have higher levels of free radicals in their body, and have higher risk of getting DNA damage from their foods.
The article cited studies that children with fathers who smoked before conception were 30 percent more likely to have a childhood cancer than children whose father’s didn’t smoke. Drugs and alcohol can also affect the viability of sperm and sperm count.
The chemicals associated with workplace exposure can impact birth defects in their children. Some of the workplaces with the most damaging solvents are artists, cleaners, hairdressers, scientist, metal workers, and employees in food-processing plants.
This was originally published on EmpowHer.com.