Here’s another reason why to-be-moms should kick the butt — smoking during pregnancy may harm your unborn son’s fertility later in his life,say scientists.
A new study,published in ‘Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B’ journal,has claimed that how a woman looks after herself in pregnancy could have a major effect on her unborn baby’s ability to father a child in adulthood.
According to them,smoking and exposure to pesticides and traffic pollution all do more harm in the first weeks of life than in the adult body — in fact,damage inflicted in the womb can be permanent.
This could be because exposure to toxins in the womb cuts the number of sertoli cells,highly specialised cells needed to “nurse” young sperm through to maturity during a man’s adult life,the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.
For their study,the researchers,led by Prof Richard Sharpe of Edinburgh University,evaluated researchers from around the world on the effects on male fertility of factors such as smoking,obesity and exposure to chemicals.
The study concluded that chemicals found in food,cosmetics and cleaning products are to blame for some of the birth defects to baby boys’ genitals and are raising the risk of testicular cancer in later life.
“There is a widespread belief that environmental pesticide exposures can adversely affect sperm production in men at large. However,this seems largely untenable.
“Overall,the present view is that there is no firm evidence that exposure of adult men to common environmental chemicals has any major impact on fertility,” Prof Sharpe was quoted by the British newspaper as saying.
Experts have welcomed the findings.
Dr Allan Pacey,a Sheffield University expert in male fertility,said: “This review reminds us that the sperm production capacity of men is probably established quite early in life and perhaps even before they are born.
“This highlights importance of women having healthy pregnancies and not exposing their baby to harmful chemicals,such as cigarette smoke.”