Is obesity to blame for falling sperm counts?

1st December 2010 in Advice, Infertility, News, Treatments

European men could be facing a fertility crisis after a new study revealed that 40 per cent of men aged 18-25 have sperm counts too low to easily achieve pregnancy.

The report, from the European Science Foundation (ESF), suggests that rising obesity levels could be one of the factors in why sperm counts are so low, as obesity is associated with reduced testosterone levels, which could affect sperm production.

Evidence currently suggests that men’s sperm counts have declined by 45 per cent, compared to previous generations. However quite why sperm levels today are so significantly lower is not yet clear.

But what is evident from this report is that men should physically prepare themselves for pregnancy – whether it’s natural conception or through the use of assisted techniques.

Women have to do it – indeed many NHS trusts insist that women aren’t obese before embarking on fertility treatment such as IVF. So why not men?

Weight, smoking, alcohol intake and stress are all thought to affect fertility. So it’s sensible to make sure you’re both in the best of health if you’re planning to try for a baby or want infertility treatment. You can get advice on lifestyle changes you can make to improve your chances of conceiving from your GP or family planning centre.

If you’re concerned about your sperm count, you could always consider a Fertility MOT – a series of comprehensive tests we offer, which will tell you how fertile you are.

For more information, visit our treatments page or call us on 0161 300 2730.