Obesity weighing heavy on fertility

Obesity weighing heavy on fertility

Obesity can be physically restrictive and can prevent intimacy, warns Dr Vinod Kumar


Obesity is one of the major health challenges worldwide, especially in the developed nations. It definitely is a major cause of ill-health and premature deaths as being overweight increases the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, osteoarthritis and some cancers like colon and breast. Unfortunately, obesity can be physically restrictive and can prevent intimacy and affect your sex life too.

Individuals are considered obese when they weigh more than 20% more than their ideal weight. And about 30% of obese people seeking help in controlling their weight indicate problems with sex drive, desire, performance, or all three.  

How is obesity related to sex life?

Unfortunately, obesity can affect your sex life. Obesity hinders stamina which is important to sustain sexual performance. Obesity affects hormonal balance, which in turn affects testosterone levels, causing a dip in libido. Obesity is linked to heart diseases as the arteries are blocked; this also affects blood flow to the genitals.

Lack of blood circulation causes erectile dysfunction.

Obese men tend to have lower total and free testosterone levels. Testosterone is an important male hormone that results in the development of male sexual organs and strong bones apart from building large muscles and contributing to a deep baritone.

Testosterone levels begin to rise at puberty and peak in early adulthood after reaching a plateau and then decline with age. 

Obesity tends to reduce the levels of testosterone which may at times lead to erectile dysfunction. But even with normal testosterone levels, obese men have an increased risk of erectile dysfunction. Also, obesity in men is directly linked to low frequency of sexual intercourse. It is definitively linked to low sperm count and reduced sperm motility.

Major complications

Obesity increases the risk of developing a number of serious health conditions. Blood pressure increases and leads to cardio-vascular diseases, and even stroke. This is a serious condition in which your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs. A highly obese person is more prone to diabetes, cancer, gallstones and sleep apnea.

Osteoarthiritis is common among women and may also lead to irregular periods and infertility. Obesity may also take an emotional toll. Apart from health issues, the growing trend of childhood obesity directly affects a teenager’s puberty.

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