In my fertility clinic, much of the discussion about pre-conception counseling, or what should be done to prepare for a healthy pregnancy, focuses on the female. We discuss a woman’s diet, vitamins, immunization status, supplements, exercise habits and more. New research is suggesting that dad needs to be involved in this health optimization before starting a family.
Epigenetics is a new hot term in science. We all have DNA, which is a roadmap of genes that encode the proteins that are expressed that make our bodies work. To describe it simply, epigenetics is the field that ensures that these genes are expressed at the right time, the right place, and the right amount. My research over the past three years has focused on epigenetics.
I am passionate about learning how our environment impacts our fertility. Epigenetics is an emerging link to learning about your environment and how it may impact your genetic health: most toxins in our environment are not strong enough to cause DNA damage and mutations, but are able to impact gene expression, and ultimately the health of an individual, by altering epigenetic profiles. Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals in our environment, like those commonly found in plastics, induce epigenetic changes in sperm. Worse yet, these changes can be transmitted to future generations.
Recent studies suggest that epigenetic changes may be the key mechanism by which paternal factors such as age and weight contribute to health outcomes in their kids. For example, dads who smoke have children that are more likely to be overweight. Similarly, dads that are obese are more likely to have obese children as a result of epigenetic changes.
Dads- don’t lose hope. There are early indications that some paternal lifestyle-associated effects on sperm can be reverse through exercise, diet, and/or surgical weight loss. In my practice, I like to focus on the couple becoming the healthiest they can be before conceiving. Because ultimately, our goal is similar: we don’t just want to help you get pregnant, we want to help you be a healthy and happy family for generations to come.
If you’d like to take some steps to reduce the impact of your environment on your fertility, consider the following:
- Reduce exposure to certain household chemical like phthalates
- Review your food choices
- Consider whether you may want to consider having sperm epigenetic testing
10 thoughts on “Dads- pay attention too!”
You have made some good points there. I looked on the internet to learn more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.
This is a topic which is close to my heart… Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?
Thanks for the feedback. We have changed the website a bit. You can contact us through our practice link. Let me know if there is anything else that we can help with!
Nice blog here! Additionally your website loads up very fast! What host are you using? Can I am getting your associate hyperlink to your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol
Thank you, Alex! That is so great to hear! We use wordpress to create the website template and registered the domain through go daddy; we have been very happy with it!