Weight and Fertility: The Surprising Connection
A new study found a surprising connection between weight and fertility: Overweight men typically have less sperm. Furthermore, sperm quality and overall fertility also seem to be directly related to weight and waist circumference, while sperm motility and morphology (shape), another measurement of fertility, do not appear to be dependent on body weight.
Weight and Fertility Most Likely Linked
In the study performed by Stanford University School of Medicine, Dr. Michael Eisenberg and his team examined the semen of 468 men who were eager to have children with their significant other and who were not currently being treated for infertility. Aside from analyzing their sperm, the researchers recorded their waist measurements. The men's weight and height were also used to determine their BMI (body mass index). The verdict: The higher a man's waist measurement and BMI, the less semen he tended to ejaculate during orgasm, showing that there is a definite connection between weight and fertility.
A low amount of semen can contribute to lower fertility as the sperm need certain chemicals in the semen to ensure their viability. The men with the highest BMI and waist measurements also produced less sperm, resulting in a lower sperm count. All in all, men with waist measurements of 40 inches or more averaged about 22 percent less sperm than men whose waists measured 37 inches or less. Although this study revealed a correlation crucial for men who are trying to conceive, it didn't go so far as to provide a solution; it's not clear whether exercising and losing weight could actually improve sperm count and semen volume.