BBH1: Fetal Programming of semen quality
This study is performed at Dep. of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Bispebjerg Hospital in collaboration with University of Copenhagen, University of Lund and Dep. Reproductive Medicine at Malmø University Hospital.
The overarching objective of this joined research program is to unravel causes of male infertility with the perspective to reinforce preventive actions, to increase reproductive health in future generations and to reduce the need for assisted reproduction.
While the vast majority of research into environmental risk factors to male reproductive capability have addressed ongoing exposures of adult men, this project focus on exposures taking place in fetal life and early childhood and hereby for the first time in a large epidemiological study address the fetal programming hypothesis with respect to male fertility.
The Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC contains extensive data on 100.000 pregnancies and birth from 1996-2002 in Denmark. The database offers a unique opportunity to correlate maternal exposure and living conditions during pregnancy with various fertility factors measured in sons 18-20 years after birth.
The most important maternal exposures include persistent and not persistent environmental toxicants including paracetamol, psycho-social stressors (life events), obesity, gestational weight gain, maternal smoking, alcoholic consumption and caffeine.
3.000 men are invited to participate but only a thousand are expected to accept. A semen sample together with blood and urine are collected at site visits around the country. A large battery of analysis is applied to reveal any reproductive and hormonal abnormality and genetic changes.