Latest research suggests that obesity can reduce the quality of men’s sperm as well as lower a woman’s chances of successfully conceiving a child using in vitro fertilisation. Latest research suggests that obesity can reduce the quality of men’s sperm as well as lower a woman’s chances of successfully conceiving a child using in vitro fertilisation.

Obesity Matters in Making Babies

The researchers indicated that overweight and/or obesity were associated with low semen quality parameters (i.e., semen volume, sperm count and concentration, sperm vitality, total motility and normal morphology) and underweight category was likewise associated with low sperm normal morphology.

“Body mass within the ideal “normal” range was associated with higher sperm concentration, higher total sperm count, and a lower percentage of abnormal sperm,” researchers said. They found obese women with a BMI over 35 had lower success rates compared with overweight [BMI of 25-30], normal weight [BMI of 20-25], or underweight women. Obese women had a lower rate of successful embryo implantation (13% vs. 19% among healthy weight women). They also were less likely to become pregnant after in vitro fertilization (22% became pregnant vs. more than 30% of normal or underweight women).

Leptin and trace toxins

Leptin is a hormone that has demonstrated a relationship between body fat and the neuroendocrine axis, since it influences appetite and the reproductive axis. Leptin is produced primarily by fat cells and might damage sperm cells or the cells that produce them. Adipose tissue is no longer considered as a simple reservoir to store fat. Rather, it plays a dynamic role in whole-body energy homeostasis by acting as an endocrine organ. Collective evidence indicates a strong link between neural influences and adipocyte expression and secretion of leptin. Leptin augments secretion of gonadotropin hormones, which are essential for initiation and maintenance of normal reproductive function, by acting centrally at the hypothalamus to regulate GnRH, neuronal activity and secretion. Thus, leptin serves as a surreptitious signal that links metabolic status to the reproductive axis. An increase in leptin levels significantly decreases the production of testosterone from Leydig cells.