Researchers from Harvard Medical School, US have warned that men who undergo bariatric or weight loss surgery may suffer semen abnormalities and reduced fertility.
Obesity has become a new worldwide health problem with a significant impact not only on cardiovascular diseases but also on many other related disorders, highlighting infertility.
Bariatric surgery is the most durable and effective treatment for morbid obesity and also results in the improvement of the metabolic syndrome.
Bariatric or weight loss surgery involves dividing the stomach into a small upper pouch and a much larger lower “remnant” pouch and then rearranging the small intestine to connect to both.
A meta-analysis of studies in which men underwent Roux- en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) procedures found frequent sperm aberrations and lower fertility rates despite improvements in weight, androgen levels and sexual quality of life following the procedure.
Researchers compared the long-term effects of weight loss following RYGB among a group of sexually active men attempting to conceive with a partner to the semen parameters and fertility of obese men who did not undergo bariatric surgery and to a control group of lean men.
The researchers identified elevated levels of the estrogen hormone estradiol and deficient vitamin D as factors that could negatively impact semen and fertility among the RYGB group.
“This study is one important piece in solving the puzzle of male infertility. The challenge is to see if correcting hormonal and micro-nutrient aberrations are enough to reverse male infertility,” said Edward Lin, from Emory University School of Medicine in the US.
Weight loss surgery is not a cure for obesity, but rather a tool to help you lose weight to live a healthier, longer and more fulfilling life. Success depends on your ability to follow guidelines for diet, exercise and lifestyle changes.
Researchers discussed the possible impact of RYGB on male reproductive capability in the article “semen analysis and fertility rates after bariatric surgery in males.” The study was published in the journal Bariatric Surgical Practice and Patient Care.