The Future of Fertility: Lose Weight, Fix Bad Sperm

October 07 2008 / by Lani
Category: Health & Medicine   Year: Beyond   Rating: 8 Hot

Here’s another good reason to lay off that super-sized combo with extra fries: bad sperm. Besides being the cause of diabetes, heart disease, and back problems, a large waistline can also affect fertility. And not in a good way.

Researchers at the University of Aberdeen conducted a study involving the sperm of more than 2,000 men who were having trouble conceiving. The results, presented at a recent conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona, revealed a substantial difference between the sperm of obese men and those of normal weight. The men were divided into four different groups, depending on Body Mass Index. Men with an optimal BMI of 20 to 25 had a healthy level of normal sperm, while the opposite occurred with heavier men. Findings show obese men produce more abnormal sperm as well as lower volumes of seminal fluid.

Scientists have several theories about the link between obesity and poor sperm quality. Lifestyle is a large factor. A fit and healthy man has more chances of conceiving than not. Dr. Ghiyath Shayeb, the lead researcher, points to different hormone levels or overheating of the testicles due to excess fat as possible explanations. Fortunately, chances of conceiving aren’t all lost. A female with normal fertility can compensate.

The affects of obesity on sperm quality and overall birth remain to be seen particularly in the West where obesity is endemic. If the trend continues, lower fertility rates could ultimately mean lower population. However, a bevy of new advancements in fertility, fitness, and prevention bode well for the future.

Comment Thread (6 Responses)

  1. Hmmm, maybe I should eat fast food until I want to have kids?

    Posted by: martymcfly   October 07, 2008
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  2. @mcfly – They found coke made men impotent. I personally just will abstain from women until I obtain success or want to be a parent. I am in no rush.

    Posted by: Covus   October 08, 2008
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  3. Good on you Covus! I personally do plan on having children unless its obvious I’m never getting off this planet.

    Posted by: tk421   October 08, 2008
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  4. Wait, crap, I need to pay more attention when I type. As is, I’m not making a decision on children until all the facts are in. Personally, I’m incredibly torn on the issue. On the one hand, more children could help get us out of the Social Security crisis we’re currently in. On the other, the world just isn’t able to deal with the number of people we have today living the way we are. I also think our current energy use is alarming, with millions of years of coal deposits expected to be exhausted within hundreds of years.

    Posted by: tk421   October 08, 2008
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  5. Acceleration presents and interesting dilemma: Is it better to hold off on having kids in the hope that the longer you wait the more tools they’ll have (Gattaca x100), or to have kids earlier so that they too can experience the world as we know it before it becomes saturated with computational and experiences become more virtual or digital in feel?

    Posted by: Alvis Brigis   October 08, 2008
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  6. @tk421 – Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t have some intimacy with a woman once and awhile, a child just is too big of a commitment at the present time… I’ll wait and see how the future unfolds, too.

    Posted by: Covus   October 08, 2008
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