Obesity is often mentioned as one of the most important health concerns in the United States with a wide range of implications for our overall health. Obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and even all-cause mortality. Recently, however, it has been implied that obesity has a negative effect towards our reproductive health.
So, what is the connection between obesity and reproductive health?
Male and Female Obesity and Reproductive Health
Many studies have explored the link between maternal obesity and embryo development and found that obesity negatively affects embryo development by inflicting changes to the oocyte. However, there seems to be a lot of evidence that male obesity is as devastating to embryo development and conception.
A study by the National Institutes of Health found that obese men have increased odds for infertility, even when paired with women of normal Body Mass Index (BMI).
Effect on Hormonal Balance and Sperm Count
The reason for this link between obesity and reproductive health is reduced sperm quality and quantity. A study published in the journal Andrologia found that obese men showed lower sperm count, total motility, volume, and average path velocity. Obesity has also been linked with sperm defects that further affect our reproductive health.
Another reason why obesity is connected with worse reproductive health could be lower testosterone levels. Several studies found that higher BMI is associated with a reduction in testosterone levels, which is a crucial hormone in male reproductive systems.
It seems that the link between obesity and reproductive health can be added to the long list of reasons why you should lead a more active lifestyle. If you have concerns about your fertility and want to make some changes, working out and eating healthy could be a good starting point.