Stressful Experiences During Pregnancy Might Affect Fertility of Male Infants When They Grow Up

Stressful Experiences During Pregnancy Might Affect Fertility of Male Infants When They Grow Up

A recent study released by the University of Western Australia on May 29 suggests that traumatizing and stressful incidents experienced by a pregnant woman in the first half of the pregnancy might negatively impact the fertility of the male babies when they reach adulthood.

Stressful experiences during pregnancy affect the fertility of male infants in their adulthood

Specialists investigated the situation of 643 males that were 20 years old at the time of the study and concluded that those who had mothers that went through negative or stressful experiences through the first 18 weeks of pregnancy were reported to have a more reduced sperm quality. Also, lower testosterone level than males with mothers that did not experience such episodes at all or experienced it during later pregnancy was recorded, as confirmed by Prof. Roger Hart told Xinhua.

Furthermore, results show that mother than dealt with stressful experiences during the first 18 weeks of the gestation gave birth to males with the number of sperm in their ejaculate reduced by 36%. Moreover, these males were reported to have a 12% reduction in the mobility of the sperm and testosterone levels 11% lower than the individuals who were not exposed to stress during gestation.

What kind of experiences causes this effect

Such stressful experiences might be related to the death of a close member of the family or friend, a separation or divorce, kid-related issues, an unwanted or sudden job loss, unemployment, financial issues, or similar problems.

Even more, specialists state that the interesting this about the results is the fact that if the mother is exposed to stressful conditions later in the pregnancy, it won’t affect the fertility of the infant when he grows up since the testicles are developing in the first part of the pregnancy.

Specialists also state that several other factors should be taken into consideration regarding the fertility of a male, including the lifestyle he chooses or whether or not their mother smoked while pregnant, which is also believed to contribute to a 50% reduction in the sperm number.

The data used for this study was collected from a landmark multigenerational Australian study in which roughly 3,000 pregnant women between May 1989 and November 1991 participated, later giving birth to approximately 1,500 boys.


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