Small male babies at risk of infertility

Men born small for gestational age (SGA) may be at an increased risk for infertility in adulthood, according to a study published in Human Reproduction.

Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark analysed data from a Danish birth cohort, including 5594 men and 5342 women born between 1984 and 1987, looking for any association between being born SGA and infertility.

Results showed that men born SGA had a 55% higher risk of being diagnosed with or treated for infertility compared to men born appropriate for gestational age (AGA) (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.55, 95% CI: 1.09–2.21). The association was reduced after exclusion of men born with hypospadias or cryptorchidism (OR = 1.37, 95% CI: 0.93–2.01). No association was found between women’s birth weight and risk of infertility (adjusted OR = 1.00, 95% CI: 0.73–1.37).

According to the authors: ‘Many children are born SGA, so if SGA is causally linked to infertility, this has public health relevance. It is therefore important to focus on the underlying mechanisms that can explain the possible association between SGA and infertility as it will allow a more targeted prevention strategy.’

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