Boys who are underweight are at increased risk of developing infertility in adulthood. This conclusion was reached by a group of Danish scientists on the basis of their research, the results of which are reported by The Daily Telegraph.
More than 5,500 men and over 5,300 women, born between 1984 and 1987, took part in the experiment. For 30 years, specialists from the University of Aarhus (Denmark) monitored their reproductive health, depending on the parameters of the weight that the volunteers had at birth. Scientists analyzed data on the body weight of babies and the timing of their birth, as well as information on cases of infertility and methods of its treatment.
The researchers also asked the mothers to answer special questions aimed at determining their age, attitudes towards smoking and alcohol during pregnancy, finding out the indicators of their body mass index (BMI) and social status. All this, according to experts, was necessary in order to exclude minor factors that affect the reproductive function of the body. The results showed that men whose birth weight was less than 3 kg increased the likelihood of developing infertility in adulthood by 55% compared with those who were born with normal weight. At the same time, in women, no relationship was found between birth weight and reproductive function in adulthood.
A possible explanation for this phenomenon, according to experts, is the fact that a lack of birth weight can be associated with serious disorders of the development of male genital organs.
"An environment unfavorable for the development of the fetus, for any reason, can itself negatively affect the quality of sperm and reproductive organs," said Anne Torsted, a professor at Aarhus University. “It can also be assumed that the health and lifestyle of the mother during pregnancy may have an impact on both the development of the fetus and the formation of reproductive function,” she added.