A father’s poor health prior to conception can increase the risk of losing pregnancy, according to a new study.
The researchers analyzed records from an employee insurance database that contained data on 958,804 pregnancies between 2007 and 2016, as well as information on parental health for an average of four years prior to conception. The study deals with human reproduction.
They rated fathers’ health based on elements of metabolic syndrome: diagnosing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity or diabetes, and the presence of other more common chronic diseases. About a fifth of pregnancies resulted in either an ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous abortion, or stillbirth.
Compared to men who didn’t have any of these five signs of illness, those who did had a 10 percent increased risk of conceiving a pregnancy that ended in loss. Two had a 15 percent increased risk, and men with three or more had a 19 percent increased risk. The mother’s age made little difference, and the study was checked for other mother and father health and behavioral factors.
“We need to think about the pre-conception of the father,” said senior author Michael L. Eisenberg, associate professor of urology at Stanford. “We contribute half of the DNA, so it makes sense that this affects the course of pregnancy. I want to show that the father is important – fertility is a team sport. “