Every June the focus is on male health as Men’s Health Awareness Week campaigns to heighten awareness of preventable health problems and encourage men to choose healthier lifestyle choices.
It’s estimated that male infertility is a factor in 40 to 50% of infertility cases and, in recent years, there has been much research into the crucial role that modifiable lifestyle factors play.
One key lifestyle factor that is known to affect male fertility is being overweight, but the good news is that the damage is reversible. A new study has found that obese men who lose weight – and are able to keep it off – can increase their sperm count by 40%.
Danish researchers studied a group of 47 obese men and their findings were recently published in the journal Human Reproduction. The men were placed on a low-calorie diet for eight weeks and lost on average of 36 lbs. Sperm counts were measured both before and after the diet and discovered a substantial increase in sperm count.
“This study shows that sperm concentration and sperm count were improved after a diet-induced weight loss in men with obesity,” concluded researcher Signe Sørensen Torekov, a professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
The study also revealed the importance of committing to these lifestyle changes – the men were revisited a year later, and half the men had regained the weight, resulting in a corresponding decline in their sperm count.
Other lifestyle factors that could cause male infertility
Obesity can affect hormone levels causing reduced sperm production and concentration and there may also be a link between a raised BMI and both sperm motility and morphology (movement and shape) and DNA damage. However, being overweight isn’t the only lifestyle factor that is known to affect male fertility. Smoking, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, and recreational drugs can all play a role.
Male fertility assessments
The focus of this year’s Male Health Awareness week is the importance of a Man MOT, with guidance on how to check your mental and physical wellbeing and why you should undergo regular health screening checks.
At Aria Fertility, we offer a range of male fertility investigations. The first step is a review of your general health and your medical history. You will then be asked to provide a semen sample and we assess the quality of your sperm, including viscosity, volume, concentration, motility, and morphology. This information is used to advise you of the appropriate fertility treatment plan.
Other tests include those to identify microbes in semen plasma, DNA damage, or sperm maturity.
To book your male fertility assessments, call +44 (0) 203 263 6025.