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Stress Impact on Male Fertility
Exposure to a combination of excess stress hormones and chemicals while in the womb could affect a man's fertility in later life, a new study suggests.
Edinburgh University experts looked at the effect of stress hormones combined with a common chemical used in glues, paints and plastics.
They found the combination increased the likelihood of birth defects.
These include cryptorchidism, when the testes fail to drop, and hypospadias, when the urinary tract is not aligned.
The conditions are the most common birth defects in male babies.
Researchers believe the findings could help explain why rates of babies born with these problems are increasing.
Dr. Mandy Drake, from Edinburgh University's centre for cardiovascular science, said: "What the study shows is that it is not simply a case of one factor in isolation contributing to abnormalities in male development but a combination of both lifestyle and environmental factors, which together have a greater impact. Read more.