"Dad is sometimes an afterthought when it comes to pregnancy," said Djurdjinovic. "But the bottom line is it's often just as important to consider dad's impact on a developing baby before, during and after pregnancy as it is mom's," she added.
"A paternal exposure is anything the father of the baby is exposed to before or during his partner's pregnancy," stated Luba Djurdjinovic, executive director of Ferre Genetics and Pregnancy Risk Network (PRN), based in Binghamton. "Some exposures may affect a man's ability to father a child by changing the size or shape of sperm, the number of sperm produced or how the sperm work."
Studies have found associations with the following risk factors and either altered sperm with or without infertility, lower fertility and infertility:
— Occupational: Chemicals such as heavy metals, solvents, fumes (welding fumes).
— Physical agents: Heat, vibration, extremes in temperature and pressure.
— Radiation: Radiation and electromagnetic radiation (cell phones).
— Lifestyle: Cigarette smoking.
— Infection: Chlamydia trachomatis, a common sexually transmitted disease.
— Pollutants: PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls). PCBs were banned by the EPA in 1979, but exist in the environment including landfills, lakes and streams.
Image by Kelly L. Derricks & Danielle Reyes
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