Obesity Seems to Degrade Men's Sex Lives

Obese men undergo significant hormonal changes and experience markedly worse sex lives – but stomach-stapling surgery can correct those troubles, a recent small study showed.     “Previous studies have found that obesity is correlated to lower sperm count and can be associated with infertility, but we wanted to know if obesity was biologically associated with an unsatisfying sex life, and if so, could it be reversible,” the study’s lead author, Ahmad Hammoud, of the University of Utah, said in an Endocrine Society news release. “Our results show that the answer to both questions may be yes.”

The study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, took 64 severely obese men and examined them at a clinical research center for their weight, body mass index (BMI) and reproductive hormone levels. The researchers  repeated the examination two years later, after 22 of the patients had what’s known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. To determine the quality of the participants’ sex lives, the scientists asked them to fill out the Impact of Weight on the Quality of Life-Lite questionnaire.

“In our study population, we found that lower testosterone levels and diminished ratings for sexual quality of life were correlated with increased BMI,” Hammoud said. “Subjects who lost weight through bariatric surgery experienced a reduction in estradiol [hormone] levels, an increase in testosterone levels and an increase in ratings of sexual quality of life.”

The results show a connection between sexual quality of life and hormone levels independent of weight, Hammoud said. He noted that additional studies are needed to see if there is a cause-and-effect relationship between the two.


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