The ill-effects of obesity and the co-morbid conditions are well-known. Along with co-morbidity, obesity can also bring about fertility issues in both male and female. By being obese, there are many other factors that come into play to contribute to infertility. Here are five prime reasons how obesity affects male fertility.
- Obesity can lower libido. A lower sexual drive translates to reduced intercourse and the probability of child bearing becomes lesser contributing to fertility issues. Obesity can also make love-making a difficult task. The very act of love-making becomes a strenuous physical activity and the probability of copulation becomes lesser. Also it needs to be borne in mind that sexual hormones are transported by fat and instead of reaching the intended sexual areas, the hormones get deposited on the fat. This is the reason why both obese men and women have less sexual drive. It also has to be mentioned that not all obese men or women are infertile.
- Overheating Testicles – Obese men have layers and layers of fat that typically cover the testicles. The free hanging nature of the testicles is compromised. When the testicles are cushioned in this fat layer, they tend to overheat. It is a known fact that overheated testicles destroy sperm production.
- Stress and depression can devastate. Obesity increases stress and stress increases obesity. Another vicious cycle. Stress is caused by the increase in stress hormone called cortisol. An increase in cortisol can decrease testosterone, the male hormone. This hormonal imbalance can also reduce the sperm count. As a result of reduced sperm count, the sperms might be unable to fertilize the female egg. When people ask if the couple have children, the negativity around it makes them more stressed.
- Alcohol and smoking – Increasing number of obese individuals take up to alcohol to beat the stress. Most people who drink also smoke. This is double disaster when it comes to male fertility. Alcohol and nicotine are not only responsible for causing lower sexual drive but can also directly contribute to lower sperm count.
- Insulin Resistance – Hormonal imbalance becomes a norm when a person is obese. This imbalance is shown to produce insulin resistance, the prime reason for higher instance of diabetes among the obese. It has also been found that Diabetes has a very strong negative effect on fertility. Fertile sperm count is a rarity among diabetic men.
Dr Maran is an experienced Surgeon in the field of Gastro-enterology. He specializes in Advanced laparoscopic Surgery procedures of the gastro-intestinal (GI) tracts. Dr. Maran is also a leading Bariatric Surgeon in Chennai and has a penchant for addressing problems concerning Obesity.