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Excess Body Weight and its Effect on Male Fertility

Jun 15, 2021 | Fertility | 0 comments

High blood pressure. Diabetes. Heart disease. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re well aware of the negative impact of being overweight. Carrying around those extra pounds can lead to a multitude of health issues.

If you’re an overweight man who hopes to have a baby someday soon, here’s another good reason to consider losing weight: There’s an increasingly-strong link between obesity and infertility.

Fertility and a man’s weight

There have been plenty of studies proving that female fertility is adversely affected by weight. Being overweight (or underweight, for that matter), can throw off menstruation and ovulation. But now a number of studies have also made the connection between weight and male fertility.

  • Lower sperm count: One study found that men who were overweight were almost twice as likely to have low sperm counts (9.52%, as compared to 5.32%), and men who were obese were almost three times as likely to have low sperm count (13.28%.) Researchers surmise that fluctuations in hormone levels—as increasing fat cells transform testosterone into estrogen—can reduce sperm count. Men with mild- to moderately- lowered sperm counts may still go on to father children, but the lower the count, the more unlikely it is that the couple will have pregnancy success without the help of fertility treatments. It may also take longer to get pregnant
  • Sperm motility and mobility: Fluctuations in hormone levels could also negatively affect the shape of and ability for sperm to move, which are also leading causes of male infertility, according to another study. In 2006, a study found that the odds of infertility increase by 10% for every 20 pounds a man is overweight

How do I know if I’m overweight (or obese)?

If you’re not sure whether your weight might be affecting your fertility, the first step is to determine your body mass index (BMI). Looking at the ratio between your height and your weight (using this handy calculator) could be a good indicator of whether or not you need to start a weight loss program to improve your health in general.

If you determine that you’re overweight, either through your BMI or doctor’s visit, SpermCheck can help you determine your fertility status discretely and accurately right at home.

Can weight loss increase fertility?

A 2015 study out of Canada showed that male weight loss (as a result of better eating and exercise habits) can improve infertility and help a couple to conceive. And it stands to reason that a healthier lifestyle might not only help your ability to reproduce but improve your quality of life as a whole. It might also give you the energy you’ll need when that new baby comes!