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Epigenetics and Male
Fertility

Understanding how your lifestyle factors may
impact your fertility.

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Epigenetics and Male Fertility

Understanding how your lifestyle factors may
impact your fertility.

DNA strand splitting from what looks like train tracks

What is Epigenetics?

Epigenetics is the study of how external factors can impact our DNA’s gene expression without changing the DNA itself.

 

Epigenetic “markers” affect the way your genes are “read” and can modify the function and activity of your genes. Each cell type in your body is genetically identical but needs to serve a different purpose to sustain a normally functioning human body: neurons, white blood cells, muscle cells, etc.

 

A Short Introduction to Epigenetics

DNA strand splitting from what looks like train tracks
Hands knitting what appears to be a DNA strand

Your environment and lifestyle impact your epigenetic health

Several external factors can impact your epigenome both positively and negatively, including aging, environmental exposure, diseases like cancer, diet, and even exercise.

 

The changes aren’t necessarily permanent either. There is some evidence showing they can change in both directions. For example, if you experienced negative changes to your epigenome from smoking, quitting could allow you to bounce back.

Get our Complete Epigenetics Primer

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fetus attached to an umbilical cord that looks like a DNS strand

Epigenetics and Genes Associated with Fertility

Different genes are associated with different parts of fertility.
TAS2R60 for example is a gene that is thought to have an important role in helping sperm “find” the egg and the gene CATSPER has a well-documented role in helping sperm penetrate the egg. While ID3 is important for embryo development. These are just three out of many genes believed to be related to fertility.

fetus attached to an umbilical cord that looks like a DNS strand
sperm swimming seen under a magnifying glass

Seed Looks at Abnormalities in Your Genes

Seed looks at abnormalities with individual genes in your DNA and gives you more specific information about your case.

 

By examining sperm DNA for abnormalities in different genes important to fertility, we can determine your risks for male factor infertility and poor embryo development. These abnormalities can be present even when semen parameters like count, motility, and morphology appear normal.

 

Learn About Seed’s Features

Factors that Impact Your Fertility

shadows of man smoking with an illusion of his head being part of a woman's pregnant belly

Smoking

Different genes are believed to be associated with different parts of fertility.

 

Multiple academic studies have shown a correlation between regular cigarette smoking and an increased risk of infertility, reduced frequency of pregnancies, and fetal losses.

 

3 ways smoking can cause infertility in men

shadows of man smoking with an illusion of his head being part of a woman's pregnant belly
scale with a colorful dial, arrow pointing to center

Weight and Exercise

In one study comparing sperm from normal and obese men, DNA methylation marks were distinct between the two populations. The obese men then went through bypass and a resetting of the sperm epigenetic profile was found to occur in response to the surgery. This supports the idea that your epigenetic abnormalities could be reversed with lifestyle changes.

 

Seven questions about weight and male fertility
Weight loss alters sperm epigenetics

flower-like arrows emanating from the center each one pointing to a different hour on a stopwatch clockface

A Man’s Age

While most people know that a woman’s fertility declines as she ages, the relationship between a man’s age and fertility is less understood. However, there is a relationship between a man’s age and sperm abnormalities, as well as the possibility that his offspring will have an increased chance of being autistic, bipolar, or schizophrenic.

 

Age’s impact on male fertility
Sperm quality and male age – paternal age effect

flower-like arrows emanating from the center each one pointing to a different hour on a stopwatch clockface

Get an understanding of your epigenetic health with Seed.