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How Does BMI Affect Male Fertility?

The impact of weight on male sterility is one of the less-talked-about and less-documented topics in the world of IVF & fertility. However, as per some studies, weight is a key factor affecting semen parameters, including sperm count, motility, and morphology, which could result in fertility problems.

“Some men and women do not realize that their fertility is linked to their weight. The level of awareness is perhaps even lower in men as opposed to women. As such, it is vital that men too gain a deeper understanding of how their weight can impact their ability to cause pregnancy in their female partners,” said Dr. Laura Melado, IVF Specialist, ART Fertility Clinics

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How Does BMI Affect Male Fertility?

Fertility doctors normally check their patients’ Body Mass Index (BMI) to measure their body fat in relation to their height and weight. According to Dr. Melado, those who have a BMI below 18.5 are considered underweight; between 18.5 and 24.9, normal; between 25 and 29.9, overweight; and over 30, obese.

Obesity can significantly affect sperm count as per studies, one of which was performed by the Harvard School of Public Health. In this particular study, researchers found an 11 percent increase in the incidence of low sperm count in overweight men. The number rose to 42 percent in obese men, who, the study added, were also over 80 percent more likely to produce no sperm compared to men of normal weight.

Furthermore, a research posted on the website of the National Center for Biotechnology Information concluded that sperm motility (the ability of sperm to move and swim) is reduced in men with increased BMI. It further stated that BMI can also influence semen quality.

“Changing their lifestyle for the better, including managing their weight, is one of the initial steps that overweight people should take when planning to have a baby. Drastic weight loss is not advisable, as such, changes should be gradual. They can start by being mindful of what they eat and slowly engaging in physical activities such as regular exercises. If such people were to lose 10 percent of their current body weight, it could significantly improve their fertility level,” added Dr. Melado.

However, the IVF doctor also reminded that fertility problems can be complex and weight may just be one of the underlying causes. She recommended going to a fertility specialist to check their fertility status and get a proper advice regarding the treatments.

ART Fertility Clinics is a renowned institution runs three state-of-the-art infertility clinics in the Middle East – IVF Fertility Center Abu Dhabi and IVF fertility Center Dubai in UAE as well as IVF Fertility Center Muscat in Oman. ART Fertility Clinics has the highest success rate in the region of over 70% and many IVF specialists with years of global experience work together to deliver success for couples.