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A new steady led by Stanford University researchers shows that young men with fertility issues might develop blood pressure, heart, vascular and skin conditions later in life. Scientists also found a link between male infertility and low testosterone levels in infertile men.
“Infertile men have lower testosterone levels than fertile men. Testosterone is important— it’s a biomarker for health. Maybe these men are on a different trajectory because of this impaired testicular function,”
Michael Eisenberg, one of the study authors, said.
The results of the study were published Wednesday in Fertility and Sterility journal. During the study, researchers analyzed about 9,400 male-patients of fertility clinics with ages ranging between 35 and 50.
Barry Behr, study author and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University, said the findings could be a great opportunity for young men to reevaluate their future health path. Dr Behr also said that sperm cells were large enough to quantify them, so if the research findings were true the condition in a male’s sperm could be a “great surrogate marker for overall health”.
Prior studies have linked sperm production with obesity, cancer and smoking. The Stanford study plans to see if other health conditions are related to this it.
Forty-four percent of the study participants went to a fertility center between 1994 and 2011 to treat a non-related-to-fertility problem.
Scientists have analyzed these men’s clinical records and found out that patients having blood pressure, blood vessels and nonischemic heart conditions had higher rates of semen dysfunctions.
Infertility issues were also linked with skin conditions. Dr Behr said that his was a surprise for him and his colleagues, but a valid scientific explanation was more obvious in this case because poor blood circulation led to poor sperm quality.
“If you have increased pressure due to hypertension or vascular constriction, or issues with getting appropriate blood supply to the testicles, it’s analogous to not allowing the tree or the cells to get their full supply of nutrients to flourish,”
Dr Behr also said.
The researchers confessed that they weren’t able to establish if the above mentioned health conditions and medications used to treat them led to poor semen quality or the semen production influenced these conditions.
In the near future, Stanford scientists plan to study the way medication for heart disease may influence male fertility and find new methods of improving these meds. Also, Dr Eisenberg noticed that cancer therapies such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy can influence sperm production.