INVITED REVIEW
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 450-458

Male obesity and subfertility, is it really about increased adiposity?


1 Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health, The Robinson Institute, The University of Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia; Freemasons Foundation Center for Mens Health, The University of Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
2 Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health, The Robinson Institute, The University of Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia; Monash IVF Group, Melbourne, Victoria 3168, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Nicole O McPherson
Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health, The Robinson Institute, The University of Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia; Freemasons Foundation Center for Mens Health, The University of Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1008-682X.148076

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The prevalence of overweight and obesity in reproductive-aged men is increasing worldwide, with >70% of men >18 years classified as overweight or obese in some western nations. Male obesity is associated with male subfertility, impairing sex hormones, reducing sperm counts, increasing oxidative sperm DNA damage and changing the epigenetic status of sperm. These changes to sperm function as a result of obesity, are further associated with impaired embryo development, reduced live birth rates and increased miscarriage rates in humans. Animal models have suggested that these adverse reproductive effects can be transmitted to the offspring; suggesting that men's health at conception may affect the health of their children. In addition to higher adiposity, male obesity is associated with comorbidities, including metabolic syndrome, hypercholesterolemia, hyperleptinemia and a pro-inflammatory state, all which have independently been linked with male subfertility. Taken together, these findings suggest that the effects of male obesity on fertility are likely multifactorial, with associated comorbidities also influencing sperm, pregnancy and subsequent child health.


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