A new study has found that men who are overweight or obese are less likely to become a parent.
Presented on Monday at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Stockholm, this is the largest study of its kind and involved matching of sperm samples from 1,940 men with their body weight.
The body mass index or BMI was considered the benchmark in this study. BMI indicates the amount body fat of an adult person. An adult with BMI of 18.5 to 25 has normal weight; 25 to 30 is carrying extra weight; and 30 or greater is obese.
The sperm quality was found to have a direct relationship with weight: the sperm quality suffered with increasing excess weight. This was especially true among the obese donors, according to study results.
According to Paul Cohen-Bacrie, scientific director at Eylau-Unilabs in Paris, “Excess weight causes a modification in sperm characteristics, probably as a result of hormonal disturbance, which results in lower sperm numbers, motility and vitality,” stated “This leads to losses in conception potential.”
In the study, in comparison to donors with normal weight, the sperm count of the overweight subjects was found to be lower by 10%, and the sperm count of obese men was lower by 20%.
The research found almost a 400% increase in zero sperm count in obese men compared to the donors with normal weight.