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Obesity & Fertility

The literature encompassing the relationship between nutrition and fertility has expanded in the past decade, concluding in some clear results. Obesity amongst both men and women of childbearing age, has greatly increased in the last 30 years.
Infertility affects 1 in 7 couples, according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). At least 6% of cases relating to primary infertility are in women who struggle with obesity. Excess fat in a female’s body can influence the course of a pregnancy, beginning from conception, ovulation, endometrium and can affect the development of the fetus. Another issue pertaining to obesity and pregnancy, resides in how fat cells produce excess levels of estrogen, which means that increased body fat is accompanied by higher estrogen levels in the blood. Males who are overweight are also seen to deal with issues of infertility. Their reproductive potential is decreased as obesity changes hormonal levels which regulate spermatogenesis and is responsible for decreased testosterone production. Obesity in men also risks heightened temperature in the testicles, environmental toxins in the adipose tissue, increased levels of oxidative stress, and greater cases of erectile dysfunction.

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