Men with obesity are more likely to have a poorer quality and quantity of sperm than men of a healthier weight, suggests a new study.
Having a body mass index (BMI) of higher than 30 was linked to having a lower volume of semen, sperm count, concentration, and motility, and a greater number of sperm defects, compared with men of a lower BMI.
'The health and reproductive performance of spermatozoa in obese men are more likely to be compromised both qualitatively and quantitatively,' said Dr Gottumukkala Rama Raju at the Krishna IVF Clinic in Visakhapatnam, India, and lead author of the study. 'Results from our present dataset suggest that efforts focusing on male weight loss before conception are warranted for couples seeking infertility treatment.'
The team used computer-aided sperm analysis to examine the sperm parameters of 1285 men who had attended the fertility clinic in 2016. The study was published in Andrologia.
Obese men were also found to be more likely to have low sperm counts (oligospermia) and sperm with reduced movement (asthenospermia) which can have adverse effects on fertility.
'This latest research strengthens previous findings and helps us to counsel men attending fertility clinics,' Professor Geeta Nargund, medical director of Create Fertility clinics told HuffPost UK. 'A rise in sedentary lifestyle, poor diet and lack of regular exercise are contributing to obesity in men.'
She added: 'It takes up to three months for the body to create new sperm, so to guarantee their efforts are worthwhile they should be making lifestyle changes many months ahead of time.'
According to HealthDay, the study team is now examining whether losing weight will improve the quality of sperm. Early findings seem to suggest that as men lose weight, sperm quality improves, said Dr Rama Raju.