Obesity & Infertility In Men (A Comprehensive Guide)

obesity and infertility in men

Infertility is a global condition that millions are suffering from. Individuals are said to be infertile when they are unable to conceive after constantly trying for a year or more. Although the causes of infertility can be different for both men and women, the after-effects are the same. 

Sexually transmitted diseases, smoking tobacco, excess alcohol consumption, overexposure to toxins, and obesity are the common causes of male infertility. Although people know that toxins are anyway not good for them, they might expect the side effect of their worst habits to show up sometimes in their lives. But have you ever thought that being obese can someday abstain from being a father? Is obesity that serious? Infertility can be quite distressing. Although there are several treatment options available to treat the condition including in vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, and others, you will have to do things in your control in the first place to make them effective. 

In this article, we are going to discuss the relationship between obesity and infertility in men. 

What Is Male Infertility? 

Male Infertility is a condition that prevents men from impregnating women after 1 year or more of continuous unprotected intercourse. Often, male fertility is not much discussed. This is mainly because our society points at women when a couple cannot conceive, clueless of the fact that it is not always the woman who is the contributing factor in all infertility cases. 

Although male infertility can be caused due to reasons unknown, which we often refer to as unexplained infertility, it is not always like that.  Previous infections affecting the genital area or the reproductive organs, exposure to toxins, radiation therapies carried out near the reproductive organs, sexually transmitted diseases, erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, poor sperm quality, alcohol consumption, and obesity are the common causes of male infertility. 

What Is Obesity? 

Being overweight or obese is not a rare phenomenon and therefore, we as individuals have either seen or experienced this condition in our lifetime. Obesity is defined as the accumulation of excess fat that leads to several risks in the future. Normally, a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more is considered to be overweight and 30 or more is considered to be obese. 

Around 80% of obese people must be experiencing some kind of medical condition just because of their weight. But, not everyone must have thought about the role of obesity in making you infertile, have you? 

So, let’s see how obesity and infertility in men are related. 

Relationship Between Obesity And Infertility In Men

Studies have discovered a link between obesity and the fertility capacity of a man. But, the answer to the question that goes “How does obesity disrupt the male reproduction potential?” is what you are looking for and it is exactly what we are going to talk about. So, what is the impact of obesity on the reproductive system? 

Obesity rates have been dramatically rising and many of them already are aware of the fact that obesity comes with several risks to their overall health. Being obese as a man has a lot more to it. The trouble increases when these obese individuals reach their age of reproduction. If you are experiencing trouble impregnating a woman, then you should first look at your weight. If a man weighs just 20 pounds extra than his ideal weight, then studies show that he is 10% more likely to get infertility problems. 

Now that you know that obesity is adversely affecting the sexual health of men, are you not ecstatic to know what exactly is leading to this? 

How Obesity Affects Male Fertility

Being overweight or obese can lead to several health issues and one of them is hormonal imbalance. How many of you know that the male hormone testosterone might change itself into the female hormone estrogen when a male is obese? Well, this is a true phenomenon. Testosterone turns into estrogen eventually when your body contains excess fat. So, this leads to an abnormal condition in the male. Instead of having testosterone, he will have increased levels of estrogen making it hard for the testicles to produce the sperm. Increased body weight can cause a lowered sperm count, which is one of the major causes of male infertility.

The quality of sperm may not only be affected by its number, but it can also impact the ability to impregnate a woman with weak sperm or result in a miscarriage sooner or later.

Another problem is that the scrotum of obese men always stays in close contact with their bodies. Our body always maintains a warm temperature and when the scrotum stays close to the body tissues, its temperature also increases in such a way that it tried to match the temperature in the surrounding. As a result, the temperature of the sperm increases, causing them severe damage. You might know that damaged sperm are incapable of fertilizing the egg, making conception more difficult.   

In a nutshell, obesity can be a villain in your relationship with your partner. So, you should be looking for ways by which you can either prevent your body from being overweight or even reduce the excess weight. 

Obesity Prevention Strategies 

Obesity is a global condition that has been slowly reaching each and every corner of the world like wildfire. For a very long time, people had a different attitude towards obesity as they were unaware of what the condition actually does to them. In fact, the causes of obesity are intertwined into the environmental and social fabric. However, now that people are being more aware of their health-destructive habits, they are also slowly understanding the importance of preventing themselves from obesity. 

We cannot expect to provide good health to people with only our efforts, instead, there should be equal effort and participation from society as a whole to eradicate obesity from our lives. But what can we actually do about this? It is often a handful of key behaviors that make us healthy and they are as follows: 

Regular Exercise

In order to ensure a healthy body, you must be sure that your body is getting at least 30 minutes of engaging in physical activities a day. You can choose what to do according to your preference. If you like to hit the gym, you can do so and if a gym is nothing you are interested in, then you can simply take a walk. 

Incorporate A Balanced Diet

The significance of a diet in regulating body weight is well-known to everyone. All you have to do is to follow basic principles of healthy eating by reducing sugar consumption, avoiding the intake of processed foods, skipping saturated fats, limiting artificial sweeteners, preferring home-cooked meals over restaurant meals, trying a plant-based diet, and adding sufficient amount of nutrients to your diet. 

Relax Quite Often 

When your body experiences stress, it actively releases the stress hormone cortisol, which is well-known for inducing unhealthy cravings. So, you may look into various healthy ways to relax such as you may join a yoga class, start meditating, or you may at least find some time to hang out with friends. Getting a decent amount of sleep can also bring an impact on increased stress. 


Although conditions like obesity might not look dangerous, it is capable of disrupting your daily lives. From causing stress to making you infertile, obesity can cause various troubles in the lives of men. Therefore, once you realize that you are overweight, consider consulting a doctor, better a dietician, to get yourself a well-balanced diet plan. Your urologist will also do their part in increasing your fertility. 

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