Lose Weight, Gain Fertility: Men’s Guide — Ruthashini Selvasingam, Tan Cia Vei & Prof Dr Moy Foong Ming

Obese men are more likely to have a lower sperm count, reduced sperm motility, and a higher percentage of abnormally shaped sperm.

Obesity is a pressing health concern worldwide, affecting people across different income brackets and regions. More than 650 million adults, which is about 12 per cent of the global adult population, are impacted by this widespread issue.

Infertility affects approximately 48 million couples and 186 million individuals globally. One of the lesser discussed but significant impacts of obesity is on male fertility. Male factors contribute to approximately half of all infertility cases.

Obesity can affect fertility in men through several mechanisms. First, excessive body fat can lead to hormonal imbalances. Obesity causes a reduction in testosterone levels and an increase in estrogen levels, which negatively affects sperm production and quality.

Additionally, obesity is associated with the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, which further disrupts hormonal balances essential for reproduction.

Obese men are more likely to have a lower sperm count, reduced sperm motility, and a higher percentage of abnormally shaped sperm compared to their normal-weight counterparts. These factors collectively reduce the likelihood of successful fertilisation.

Moreover, obesity can lead to sleep apnea, a condition that has been linked to reduced testosterone levels and diminished sexual function, further exacerbating fertility issues.

Another significant impact of obesity on male fertility is its effect on erectile dysfunction. Obesity increases the risk of medical conditions such as hypertension and atherosclerosis, which may impair blood flow and lead to erectile dysfunction.

Furthermore, the accumulation of fat, especially in the abdominal area, can increase the temperature in the scrotum, affecting sperm production and function.

Addressing obesity is crucial for reproductive health and overall wellness, emphasising a holistic approach that encompasses lifestyle modifications, nutritional modification, regular physical activities, and medication when necessary.

These strategies aim to reduce calorie intake and increase calorie expenditure. Integrating diet advice with structured physical exercises is recommended to reduce weight and visceral fat modestly, although maintaining weight loss can be challenging.

Addressing obesity not only improves overall quality of life, but also reproductive health.

Ruthashini Selvasingam, Tan Cia Vei and Prof Dr Moy Foong Ming are from the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya.

  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.

You may also like