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Weight Issues & Fertility Not Just a Woman's Concern

By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on November 23, 2010

Here we are again -- the end of year holidays. This time can have a real double whammy effect on people trying to conceive. First, there are the joyous gatherings... with babies everywhere. Then, there's the abundance of food, much of it rich and not-so-nutritious. You know, the kind that's so much fun to enjoy too much of...

Why is food a problem for people trying to get pregnant?

By now you've probably heard about the impact that weight has on a woman's fertility -- both too little and too much weight can result in ovulation disorders. Also, overweight women increase their surgical risks even for procedures as commonplace as egg retrieval. But there's more research now that says men need to keep an eye on their fatty food intake, too.

At this year's meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, researchers presented evidence that men with the highest intake of saturated fat had 41% fewer sperm than those who ate less. Also, men who ate more omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, specifically, had better sperm motility and morphology.

There is some good news on the research front for men who are overweight. The low testosterone levels that apparently go along with high BMI (body mass index) do respond positively to clomiphene citrate (Clomid).

But on this eve of one of our country's biggest binge-eating holidays, I'd recommend having a double helping of the carrots and lay off the gravy a little bit.

Also see:

When Fertility Really Is About Your Diet

Weight & Fertility (from my April 2007 newsletter)

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