In this episode of the Conceive Baby Webinar Series we talk about a topic which, historically, hasn’t received that much attention.
Infertility has, for a long time, focused largely on the female. So in this webinar we turn the tide and look at the impact of male preconception health.
Assistant Professor of Reproductive Biology, Dr Adam Watkins provide his personal insights into his new research, focusing on the role of sperm in a healthy conception and healthy embryo development.
Dr Watkins has always had an interest in the sensitivities of events early in pregnancy to environmental factors such as maternal diet.
However, Dr Watkins’ current research is exploring the role that a father’s diet may have on influencing the quality of his sperm as well as the long-term health of his offspring.
Currently, Dr Watkins is looking at how the diet of a father may affect the long-term cardiovascular and metabolic health of his offspring.
Dr Watkins’ recent research has shown that a poor father’s diet at the time of conception may affect the genetic information carried within his sperm that will be passed into the egg at fertilisation.
Dr Watkins has also shown that the fluid in which the sperm are transported modifies the levels of important inflammatory molecules within the maternal uterus during the first few days of pregnancy.
Together, his research shows how a father can influence not only the development of the early embryo during the first few days of pregnancy, but how a father can also affect the environment of the maternal uterus in which an embryo will grow.
These studies are providing new insight into the importance of a father’s lifestyle at the time of conception not only for his own reproductive health but also for the long-term health of his offspring.