Obesity and male infertility

Barbara E. Kahn, Robert E. Brannigan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose of review The prevalence of obesity has risen steadily for the past 35 years and presently affects more than a third of the US population. A concurrent decline in semen parameters has been described, and a growing body of literature suggests that obesity contributes to the male infertility. The purpose of this review is to examine the effects of obesity on male fertility, the mechanisms by which impaired reproductive health arise, and the outcomes of treatment. Recent findings Obesity alters the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis both centrally and peripherally, resulting in hypogonadotropic, hyperestrogenic hypogonadism. Adipose tissue-derived factors, like leptin and adipokines, regulate testosterone production and inflammation, respectively. Increased systemic inflammation results in increased reactive oxygen species and sperm DNA fragmentation. Increased testicular temperature because of body habitus and inactivity impairs spermatogenesis. The degree to which obesity affects hormone levels, semen parameters, sperm DNA integrity, and pregnancy rates is variable, which may be the result of other comorbid conditions. Treatment in the form of weight loss has also had inconsistent results. Summary Multiple interdependent mechanisms contribute to the detrimental effect of obesity on male fertility. Large, randomized control trials are needed to better characterize the therapeutic benefits of weight loss to restore male reproductive potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-445
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Urology
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

Fingerprint

Male Infertility
Obesity
Semen
Fertility
Spermatozoa
Weight Loss
Inflammation
Adipokines
Hypogonadism
Reproductive Health
Thromboplastin
DNA Fragmentation
Spermatogenesis
Pregnancy Rate
Leptin
Body Temperature
Testosterone
Adipose Tissue
Reactive Oxygen Species
Hormones

Keywords

  • BMI
  • infertility
  • obesity
  • sperm
  • testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

Cite this

Kahn, Barbara E. ; Brannigan, Robert E. / Obesity and male infertility. In: Current Opinion in Urology. 2017 ; Vol. 27, No. 5. pp. 441-445.
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Obesity and male infertility. / Kahn, Barbara E.; Brannigan, Robert E.

In: Current Opinion in Urology, Vol. 27, No. 5, 01.09.2017, p. 441-445.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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