Obese men experience hormonal changes which often lead to a diminished sex life. The extent of the problem generally relates to the degree of obesity, so it’s much worse in morbidly obese individuals compared to those who are moderately overweight. According to a new study, which will soon be published in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) obese men’s hormonal problems and sexual dysfunction are shown to improve after gastric bypass surgery.
Is Obesity Related To Infertility And Unsatisfied Sex Life?
Dr. Ahmad Hammoud, from the University of Utah and lead author of the study, says that previous studies have found that obesity is correlated to lower sperm count and can be associated with infertility. In this study, researchers wanted to know if obesity was biologically associated with an unsatisfying sex life, and if so, could it be reversible? From the results of the study, the answer to both questions seems to be yes.
The Scope of the Study
Sixty-four men were followed over a period of two years. This study investigated the morbidity of severely obese men who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery compared to controls over the two-year period. The participants had their weight, BMI (a measure of obesity based on a person’s height and weight) and reproductive hormone levels measured at the beginning of the study and after two years. The participants were also required to complete a questionnaire, which assessed the impact of their weight on the quality of their lives at the onset of the study and also two years later.
Obesity Lowers Testosterone Levels
The study demonstrated that lower testosterone levels and lower sexual quality of life were related to increased BMI. Those subjects who lost weight after bariatric surgery had a reduction of estradiol levels as well as an increase in testosterone and an improvement in their sex lives.
Dr. Hammoud suggests that the results from this study highlight the relationship between sex life and hormonal measures which are independent from weight. As the relationship is confounded by the biopsychosocial aspects of obesity, further studies are necessary to determine whether there actually is a cause and effect relationship. This suggests that the study could be complicated due to lack of confidence in obese men also being a factor in their diminished sex lives. However, lower levels of testosterone are generally related to a lower sex drive and diminished sexual performance, and as obese men experience a drop in testosterone, there definitely does seem to be causality between obesity and reduced sexual function.
Weight Loss Surgery Improves Sex Life
It seems there is a clear link between obesity in men and a reduction in the quality of their sex lives. This seems to be related to the hormonal changes that occur in the body due to the excess weight carried. When obese men lost weight after gastric bypass surgery, they found an improvement in their sex lives because their testosterone levels increased as a result of their weight loss.