London - Underweight baby boys face a higher risk of fertility problems later in life, a study suggests.
Those in the bottom 10 percent of birth weights had an 55 percent increased risk of infertility compared to those in the normal range. No such effect was found in women.
Researchers suggested the mother’s health could play a major factor. Anne Thorsted of Denmark’s Aarhus University said: "A suboptimal growth environment for the foetus, could itself be detrimental to the development of sperm production and reproductive organs.
"We know already that if the mother smokes, this can have an impact on the foetus... sometimes we must look at the very early life to find explanations of health problems that occur later."
Her team’s research, published in the journal Human Reproduction, examined 5 594 men and 5 342 women in Denmark born between 1984 and 1987.