When couples are trying to conceive, the woman’s weight and age are often the focus. But now a new study shines the spotlight on men and how their excess weight may affect their fertility, as well as fetal development. Australian scientists at the University of Melbourne Department of Zoology found indications that a man’s obesitymay negatively affect his sperm and lead to:

  • smaller fetuses
  • reduced conception rates
  • reduced placental development

The scientists used in vitro fertilization (IVF) to create embryos from the sperm of both normal weight mice and obese ones. The obese mice had been fed the equivalent of a ‘fast food diet’ for 10 weeks.

The researchers then analyzed the effects of the father’s obesity and found that the rate of embryo implantation into the womb and fetal development decreased by up to 15 percent. “Our study provides more information about the impact of obesity in men and their ability to start a family and the need to lose weight in preparation to conceive,” said lead researcher Natalie Binder, PhD candidate.  Previous research has also shown that obese men are at greater risk for infertility and are more likely to have a lower sperm count than males with a healthy weight.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures show that a staggering 35 percent of adult males in the United States are obese – making findings like these even more worrisome. Weight loss, however, has been shown to reduce many health risks associated with obesity, including infertility. For many severely obese people, losing weight through diet and exercise does not produce the sustainable weight loss necessary to reap the health benefits. Weight loss surgery, such as the lap band, gastric bypass, or gastric sleeve, can be an effective treatment option for people struggling with obesity, who have failed to lose weight through other therapies. You can learn more about the various surgery options offered at Oregon Weight Loss Surgery by registering to attend a free informational seminar or calling 503-227-5050 to schedule a consultation.

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