Obesity and Infertility

How Obesity Causes Infertility

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obesity and infertility

Obesity is associated with a general problem in overall fertility, with a relationship existing between excess body fat and problems with reproduction. One of the most common and well documented risk factors for infertility in both men and women is Obesity.

Obese Women and Infertility
Obesity causes infertility particularly when excess fat is stored around the abdominal area. Changes in circulating sex hormones are thought to be largely responsible for decreasing fertility. Women who are overweight or obese have lesschance of becoming pregnant than normal-weight women. Once pregnancy occurs, obese women have a higher rate of pregnancy loss. Being overweight can also lead to abnormal hormone issues affecting reproductive processes for women. Abnormal hormone signals, as a result of increase weight, negatively impact ovulation. In women, it can cause the excessive production of insulin, which may cause irregular ovulation. There is also a link between obesity, excess insulin production & the infertility condition known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

Obese Men and Infertility
The degree of male obesity has a direct effect on estrogens levels, with excessive fat deposits corresponding to increased estrogen and decreased testosterone levels. These elevated estrogen levels in men affect fertility because they prevent the synthesis of androgens that is hormones required for the development and maintenance of normal male reproductive function. Hormone irregularities in men affect stimulation of the testicles that inhibit sperm production. Overweight men have testosterone levels 25 %lower than the men of normal weight. Men with high BMIs typically are found to have an abnormal semen analysis as well.

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