Washington: A new study based on a 20-year follow-up suggests that exposure to several factors in utero and in early life may lead to reduced semen parameters in adulthood - and potentially to a decline in male fertility.The study found that adverse fetal growth, exposure to maternal smoking, and a lower childhood growth trajectory were all associated with a subsequent decline in testicular function.The study was based on follow-up of the Western Australian Pregnancy (Raine) Cohort, which began in 1989-91 with the enrolment of 2900 mothers during pregnancy; their babies had regular assessment from birth, which included fetal growth measurements.Part of the 20-year follow-up of this cohort (in 423 of the men at the age of 20-22 years) involved a testicular assessment, which included measurement of testicular volume, analysis of semen quality and hormone production - as well as body composition for fat distribution.
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