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The developmental origins of health and disease (DoHaD) paradigm states the relationship between prenatal exposures and offspring health in later life. So far this field of research has been mainly focused on the second half of pregnancy and the period just after delivery. From epidemiological and experimental studies, it has become clear that periconception conditions, such as age, ethnicity, chronic diseases, and genetic factors, as well as modifiable lifestyles, such as nutrition, smoking, and alcohol consumption, significantly contribute to human reproductive and obstetric health and performance. The periconception period represents the time span of 14 weeks before conception, in which both female and male gametes maturate, and the first 10 weeks after conception, during which implantation, early embryonic and placental development take place. Adverse preconception and periconception conditions and lifestyle can detrimentally affect these processes, which may have crucial consequences for fertility, prenatal growth and development, and the future health of the mother and her offspring during the life course. A new focus of reproductive and obstetric medicine should be the care and treatment of the couple before pregnancy: preconception care.
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Regions of DNA with high frequency of Cytosine – phosphate – Guanine (CpG) sites, which are associated with promoter regions of genes
The reproductive cells (oocytes and sperm)
Systems that initiate and sustain epigenetic change, such as DNA methylation, histone modification and non-coding RNA (ncRNA)-associated gene-silencing
A multitude of chemical compounds that can tell the genome what to do. The human genome is the complete assembly of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) that makes each individual unique
A family of basic proteins that associate with DNA in the nucleus and help condense it into chromatin
A covalent posttranslational modification (PTM) to histone proteins which includes methylation, phosphorylation, acetylation, ubiquitylation, and sumoylation. The PTMs made to histones can impact gene expression by altering chromatin structure or recruiting histone modifiers
A complex of DNA and proteins that forms chromosomes within the nucleus of eukaryotic cells. DNA is highly condensed and wrapped around nuclear proteins (histones) in order to fit inside the nucleus. It exists in two forms: (1) euchromatin, which is less condensed and can be transcribed, (2) heterochromatin, which is highly condensed and is typically not transcribed
Probability to conceive per cycle
Pathways that deliver one-carbon groups via the intertwined folate–homocysteine cycles for use in critical processes such as DNA synthesis, programming and phospholipid and protein biosynthesis
Those aspects of personal and community life, which have an impact on the child-bearing potential, habits and efficiency of a population and the health and treatment of the individual woman, with particular reference to her reproductive system
Single nucleotide polymorphism, a type of genetic variation
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- Preconception health and care
Dr Sam Schoenmakers
Dr Maria P. H. Koster
Régine P. M. Steegers-Theunissen
- Bohn Stafleu van Loghum