EXCLUSIVE: Dr Aswati Nair on the link between obesity and male fertility – PINKVILLA

With the cases of obesity increasing because of the lack of physical activity in almost all the age groups, the potential health disorder has given rise to many health problems including heart disease, stroke and also infertility.

Male fertility is quite dependant on the body mass index (BMI). Extra body weight can cause many fertility struggles as a study has suggested that obesity can reduce the quality of men's sperm. Overweight men have significantly lower sperm counts than men of normal weight.

The connection between obesity and male fertilityIf the male partner is overweight or obese, the chances of conceiving get very less. In fact, if we consider previous reports, the men who weigh just 9-10 kg more than their ideal body weight have only 10 per cent of infertility.Low sperm count is inversely proportional to a mans body mass index (BMI). The higher a mans BMI, the more likely he is to have a low sperm count and decreased sperm quality and movement. Poor sperm quality also leads to miscarriage.Hormonal imbalances are also quite common in obese men. These hormonal imbalances contribute to faulty sperm development in their body.Another prominent issue in overweight men is that their scrotum, a pouch of skin containing the testicles, comes in close contact with the body. As a result, the temperature of the body affects the temperature of the sperm and sometimes also damages them.

Obesity and pregnancy complicationSome of the pregnancy complications associated with obesity are quite complicated.High risk of miscarriageHigh risk of surgical complications and complications arising from reactions to anaesthesia if surgery is requiredHigh risk of hypertensionHigh risk of gestational diabetesHigh risk of pre-eclampsia and stillbirthHigh risk of needing a caesarean section deliveryHigh risk of having postoperative complications after a caesarean section delivery

Losing Weight to Improve FertilityHowever, obese men should not lose hope as they also have the chances of improved fertility once they lose the extra flab. Shedding even a little bit of weight can play a significant role in improving fertility. One just needs to make certain lifestyle tweaks.Bid adieu to processed foods: Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains instead of processed foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables dont have fats and are easy to digest too.

Avoid Sugar: Consuming too much-added sugar can cause weight gain and significantly increase your risk of chronic conditions like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. All these conditions are big risk factors when you are planning to start a family.Healthy lifestyle: To lose weight, a good diet plan must be accompanied by a regular exercise routine. Walking, swimming and cycling are great ways to burn calories. Exercising for even half an hour every day can have a significant impact on your fertility. For example, taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a great way to burn calories. Similarly, park the car a little further away from your office and walk the remaining distance.

About the author: Dr. Aswati Nair, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF, New Delhi

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EXCLUSIVE: Dr Aswati Nair on the link between obesity and male fertility - PINKVILLA

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