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Relationship between body mass status and semen quality.

Authors:Chitra K. Pillai, Prasad A. Udhoji
Int J Biol Med Res. 2012; 3(3): 1916 - 1919.  |  PDF File


Obesity is on a steep rise even in developing countries. Both male and female factors can contribute to hypoactive reproductive functions. Obesity as a contributing factor to failure of reproductive functions in women is an established fact. But literature available on obesity in males on reproductive function failure is very minimal. Body Mass Index (BMI), Waist Circumference (WC), Hip Circumference (HC) and Waist Hip Ratio (W/H ratio) are frequently used to evaluate body mass status. Methods: 300 normal healthy male volunteers in the age group 20-35years selected randomly. The BMI was calculated, WC and HC measured and semen analysis done as per WHO guidelines. Results: Statistical analysis was done using SPSS 17. Semen volume, sperm count, sperm motility and morphologically normal sperms showed a negative correlation with all anthropometric measures. Conclusion : A combination of factors like increased estrogen & decreased androgen levels in circulation, hormone leptin secreted by adipocytes modulating and decreasing testicular activity, inflammation by adipocytokines damaging the germ cells and adipose tissue deposits in the testes increasing the testicular temperatures may be attributed as a cause for decrease in reproductive function in obese males. The multi pronged attack by obesity on reproductive function makes it one of the most important factors to be considered for reproductive hypoactivity in men. But fortunately, since, obesity can be reversed by proper corrective measures like diet, exercising or even bariatric surgery in morbidly obese , the hypoactive reproductive functions can be dealt with successfully.