New Study Finds Miscarriage And Stillbirth May Be Linked To Father’s Health

Ally Villar
·3-min read

The risk of miscarriage might not only depend on a mother's health but the father-to-be as well.
A recent study from the journal Human Reproduction looks further into the link between a father's health and the possibility of miscarriage as well as stillbirth.

Dads may want to join in on the new healthy lifestyle mummies are adapting to during pregnancy for it's been found that poor medical conditions among fathers could lead to pregnancy loss.

The lead of the study Associate Professor Michael Eisenberg went to explain that, "It’s been known for some time that the health of mothers has an impact on the developing foetus and events at the time of birth. This is the first study to suggest that pregnancies sired by men with increasing numbers of medical conditions are at higher risk of ending in miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or stillbirth."

Unhealthy Medical Conditions Of Father May Also Affect Pregnancy

Associate Professor Michael Eisenberg and his team from Stanford University School of Medicine conducted the study by looking into almost a. million pregnancies between the years 2009 and 2016 within the U.S. Their findings showed that if the father was diagnosed with a metabolic syndrome, it could lead to an increased risk of miscarriage.

Metabolic syndrome includes the medical conditions of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Men who had metabolic syndrome had an increased risk of 10%, 15% and 19% respectively for those with one, two or three or more components.

They also found that 785,809 live births and 172,995 or 22% of the study's pregnancies suffered either ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or stillbirth. It was seen that pregnancy losses increased according to the mother's age and the medical conditions, but the risk of miscarriage also increased with the father's age.
Associate Professor Michael Eisenberg said, “While this study cannot prove that poor paternal health is a cause of pregnancy loss, it shows there is an association. The clinical implications of these findings are that pre-conception counselling should not forget the father, as his health may have an important impact on the pregnancy.”

“We hypothesise that the father’s health and lifestyle could adversely affect the genetic make-up and expression in the sperm and that this may alter how well the placenta functions. If the placenta isn’t working properly, then this could lead to the pregnancy losses that we observed; for instance, we know already that paternal smoking and diet can affect sperm quality,” he added.

While the father's health mechanisms in effect with the risk of pregnancy loss remain unknown, researchers will continue to look more into the link. In the meantime, mums and dads with such conditions should inform their doctor when pregnant or about to conceive now that it's been found that both could have an impact on miscarriage and stillbirth.

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