7 Questions About Weight and Male Fertility


The odds of infertility increase by 10% for every 20 pounds a man is overweight and there is growing evidence of conception and pregnancy complications as a result of male weight as well. Here we’ll look at seven questions about weight and male fertility

1. Does weight affect fertility?

Yes. Being over- or under-weight can affect both male and female fertility. Being overweight or underweight causes problems with ovulation in women, and maternal obesity can increase the rate of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure during pregnancy, and birth defects.

2. Can being overweight or obese cause male infertility?

According to a 2006 study, the odds of infertility increase by 10% for every 20 pounds a man is overweight. Research indicates that men who are overweight or obese take longer to conceive a child, independently of the female’s weight. Also, studies of couples undergoing ART (infertility treatment) show that obesity in males is associated with fewer pregnancies and an increase in miscarriage rates.

Taken together, these facts indicate that being overweight can definitely be an important factor in male infertility.

3. How does a man’s weight affect fertility?

Recent studies suggest that male obesity reduces sperm count and sperm concentration (that is, how many sperm are found per milliliter of semen). This reduced sperm count might in part be a result of the fact that overweight men tend to have lower testosterone and a higher incidence of sexual dysfunction.

Some preliminary evidence has also been found that obesity affects male infertility by reducing sperm motility (a measure of how well the sperm move), and negatively affecting sperm morphology (how well the sperm are shaped).

4. How do I know if I’m overweight?

If you’re not sure if you’re overweight, perhaps the best solution is to consult a BMI (Body-Mass Index) calculator online. A good BMI calculator takes your height, age, and sex into account and is the main way doctors determine if you are overweight.

 5. Will weight loss improve male fertility?

If you are concerned about being overweight and want to undergo a program of weight loss for fertility, talk to your doctor first. Preliminary evidence from a study done in Canada in 2015 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 does make sense that getting in better physical condition can contribute to better fertility.

 6. How do weight training and exercise affect male fertility?

Although there is not a lot of research on the subject, there is some evidence that excessive exercise could be potentially damaging to male fertility. Too much exercise may lower your testosterone, which could negatively impact your ability to conceive. Also, trauma to your testicles or – more likely – repeated overheating of your testicles, both of which can happen during strenuous exercise, could also reduce or impede male fertility.

7. What are some other causes of male infertility?

Besides weight, other male infertility causes can include: varicoceles (swollen veins), infections of the reproductive tract, ejaculation issues, cancer, hormone imbalances, medications, physical defects of the reproductive organs, medical conditions like celiac disease, exposure to toxins like X-rays, lead, or industrial chemicals, drug or alcohol use, or stress.




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