Infertility can be associated with obesity caused by unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, genetic causes, diseases etc. or it can be stated that obese individuals are more likely to suffer from infertility. Obesity results from accumulation of body fat in abnormal quantities. This accumulation of fat is measured in terms of Body Mass Index (BMI) and people with BMI > 30 are considered as obese.
In women, obesity causes hormonal changes, reduction in the rate of ovulation or anovulation (the body does not produce eggs most likely due to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), irregular menstruation, reduced quality of ovum. Obesity also affects assisted pregnancies due to constant hormonal imbalances thus increasing the risk of miscarriages.
Obese men may suffer from inadequate spermatogenesis which causes lowered sperm production and decreased quality of sperm. Oligozoospermia wherein the quantity of sperm goes below 15 million per milliliter of semen and sperms less motile than that of a healthy male is commonly seen with morbid obesity. They may also possess high levels of sperms with damaged DNA or suffer from erectile dysfunction that increase the risks of infertility.
Treating obesity can prove beneficial in the treatment of infertility. Making a dynamic shift in the lifestyle and diet can help patients lose weight and consecutively reverse the cycle that causes infertility. Having said that, if these methods do not help, weight loss surgeries can help recover the negative effects of obesity. Restrictive and/ or malabsorptive weight loss surgeries like Lap Sleeve Gastrectomy, Roux – en – Y Gastric Bypass, Mini Gastric Bypass etc. help limit the intake of food and absorption of calories by amending the size of the stomach and/ or the length of the small intestine. These procedures are carried out with the help of minimal access laparoscopic methods of treatment, hence decreasing the recovery time for the patient and bringing about considerable positive results within 1-2 years. Pregnancy however is to be avoided for at least a year after the procedure.
Authored By Dr.Nikhil Agnihotri