Is obesity affecting your sex life?

Obesity can lower testosterone in men, says study.

New Delhi: Obesity is no doubt a major health challenge worldwide. Being overweight can cause plethora of health issues like heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, osteoarthritis and some cancers like colon and breast. Apart from these it also affects one’s sex life.

A person is considered to be obese when the weight is more than 20 per cent above of the ideal weight. A study conducted at University at Buffalo, New York states that obesity is associated with another health problem, that affects only men is low testosterone levels.

Dr. Shobha Gupta, Medical Director and an IVF Specialist from Mother’s Lap IVF Centre explained how obesity can affect sex life. She said, “Being overweight hinders stamina which is important to sustain sexual performance. It also disturbs one’s hormonal balance which in turn affects testosterone levels, causing loss of libido or low sex drive. Obesity also affects blood flow to the genitals and lack of blood circulation there causes erectile dysfunction.”

Notably, testosterone is actually an important male hormone which helps in the development of male sexual organs and builds strong bones. Testosterone levels begin to rise at puberty and peak in early adulthood, and then start declining with age.

Furthermore, excess fat in the inner thighs and pubic region results in high testes temperatures of over 35°C. This may be sufficient to hinder sperm production. Obesity is definitely linked to low sperm count and reduced sperm motility which can be a cause of infertility.

“In other words, we can say that if you have low sperm count and you are unable to make your wife pregnant despite trying of one year or more then you have infertility,” said Dr. Shweta Goswami, Sr. Consultant Gynecologist and IVF Expert from Jaypee Hospital, Noida.

Obesity may also take an emotional toil in one’s life. Some may experience feelings of social isolation, depression, discrimination over weight etc. Disrupted sleep-wake cycles, unhealthy eating habits, ease to junk or packed food, no physical activity can badly affect the fertility.

Here are few ways in which one may choose a healthy life over a wealthy life:

-Make healthy lifestyle a family goal by keeping the calorie needs in mind.

-Try to be active all the time, take a walk, and use stairs over lift or escalator.

-Limit your screen time; instead play outdoor, indulge more in outdoor activities.

-Keeping a track of weight, BMI and weight circumference.

-Take a proper balanced diet; have fertility enhancing foods such as banana, broccoli, walnuts, garlic, ginseng, red meat, beans, eggs, fish, citrus fruits like oranges, kiwi, strawberries, tomatoes, cheese etc.

-Go for a proper health check up once in six months.

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