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Obesity: Hidden Cause of Male Infertility

January 10, 2017
eIVF Network

Feodor Vassilyev (1707-1782) fathered 69 children with one wife – she gave birth to 16 twins, seven triplets and four sets of quadruplets. That’s the largest documented number of children born to one mother. Clearly, fertility wasn’t an issue for that pair!

But these days, one in three couples has trouble conceiving because of poor semen quality. That may be because of environmental pollutants, such as hormone-disrupting phthalates, according to a 2013 study that showed French men’s sperm concentration declined thirty-three percent between 1989 and 2005.

It also looks like burgeoning obesity rates are a big part of the problem. Another study found that men with waistlines forty inches and up had a twenty-two percent lower sperm count than those with waistlines under thirty-seven inches. Seventy-four percent of men in the U.S. are overweight or obese! No wonder fertility levels have declined in the U.S. over the past thirty years!

 Whatever the issue, a new study in the journal Reproduction shows that if you get yourself in shape, your sperm will follow. Researchers had sedentary men give semen samples before starting one of four, twenty-week routines (moderate-intensity continuous training; high-intensity ongoing training; high-intensity interval training; or remaining inactive).

The biggest improvements happened in the moderate intensity group (running on a treadmill for thirty minutes, three to four days a week). They had 8.3 percent more semen volume; 12.4 percent higher sperm motility; 17.1 percent improved sperm shape; 14.1 percent more concentrated sperm; and 21.8 percent more sperm cells, on average!

More Articles on Male Fertility: 

Dad’s Phthalates May Impair IVF Embryo Quality

Why you can’t fry eggs (or testicles) with a cell phone

This Specific Type Of Exercise Improves Men’s Fertility

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