Sperm Count Linked to Fat
Friday, March 17th 2006
Men who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of infertility, a study has found.
Those classed as obese had a 25-fold reduction in their sperm count compared with those of average weight.
Doctors have known that women who are overweight or obese have more trouble conceiving then those who are not.
As the number of men and women classed as overweight or obese rises, experts say infertility could also increase.
The study was presented to the annual conference of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Texas.
Researchers from Reproductive Biology Associates in Atlanta analysed semen from 52 men.
They also assessed the men's weight using the Body Mass Index, calculated by
dividing weight in kilograms by height in metres squared.
A BMI of 20-25 is considered normal. Above 25 is classed as overweight and more than 30 as obese.
The study found men with a normal BMI had 18.6 million healthy sperm cells in their samples.
Overweight men had 3.6 million and obese patients 0.7 million.
Researchers Dr William Roudebush said one explanation could be that increased fat around the genital area raised body temperature, reducing the number of healthy sperm.
Sourced from the Weekend Herald, 18-19 October 2003
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