BMI and Male Fertility

High BMI can have a detrimental impact on male fertility. The combination of extra heat around the testicle and hormonal imbalances can be a 1-2 punch to sperm.

You can hear it calling your name from the other room. It’s voice sickly sweet, intoxicating. Promising you endless bliss if you’ll only succumb to its power. You want nothing more to give in to it, but you’re afraid of what will happen if you surrender to the temptation. There’s no escaping it. That last donut in the break room wants you as badly as you want it.

It seems like the temptation to overindulge is everywhere nowadays, lurking and ready to pounce. It’s one of the reasons we’re currently having an obesity epidemic: there’s just so much access to high calorie food and so little time to get exercise. But don’t give in. Indulging in that sweet, sweet carby goodness could have disastrous effects on your body, especially your balls.

How to Calculate Your BMI

The extra calories you get from consuming things like that donut add up, especially when consumed without any exercise, and it could lead to a steady weight gain and a dangerous increase in your BMI. But what exactly is a BMI? Your body mass index is a height to weight ratio that is used to calculate a healthy weight range. To calculate your BMI, you can go old school and do the calculations yourself with this formula: [weight in lbs/ (height in inches x height in inches)] x 703. Or you could use this handy dandy website (Hey, math is hard. We don’t judge). The resulting number should range anywhere from the mid-teens to mid-forties. The CDC has created a quick reference chart to make interpreting your BMI score easy:


Weight Status

Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5-24.9 Normal
25.0-29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obese

How Fat Cells Impact Fertility

If your BMI is over 25, your swimmers could be at serious risk.That little bit of extra jiggle in your middle could cause some pretty big challenges to your swimmers. This is primarily due to two major factors: hormones and heat.

Feeling a Little…Hormonal?

Topic: Male Reproductive Hormones

Reproductive hormones aren’t just for the ladies. Chances are, you probably know about testosterone, the manliest of hormones, and the lady-hormone, estrogen. In a healthy man, there is a substantial amount of testosterone and trace amounts of estrogen. The estrogen exists in the male reproductive system to promote spermatogenesis, namely the writing of genes to promote cellular growth and function (in plain English: estrogen helps create healthy sperm cells). This small store of estrogen is largely provided by aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen. Fat cells contain aromatase, so in an area with a high amount of fat cells, such as an overweight body, testosterone is more rapidly being converted into estrogen in larger amounts.This means that those extra fat cells are throwing your hormones out of balance and impacting your sperm production.

Can’t Stand the Heat

Topic: Heat

It’s no secret that bigger guys tend to feel the heat more than their slimmer counterparts.This is due to a pretty logical reason: that extra layer of fat provides more insulation, leading to a greater retention of body heat. This heat retention applies to you balls as well. All of that extra heat can damage the very temperature-sensitive sperm, leading to poor sperm quality, and, due to the long-term nature of the extra heat, impacted sperm production.

Beating the BMI

Weight loss is an incredibly difficult journey, but one that can dramatically improve your sperm quality and your quality of life. But how do you tackle the beast that is your bathroom scale? While we can’t give you a quick fix to a lower BMI, we can offer you some tips and tricks to make the journey a little easier:

Write Down What You Eat

We know, not exactly groundbreaking. But keeping track of what you’re eating can help put a stop to eating out of boredom and can help you more easily keep track of the day’s calories.

Keep an Eye on Serving Size

This part can get tricky. Often, the serving size mentioned on the nutrition facts is less than intuitive. That means that the calories you’re actually consuming could often be double or triple what you thought you were eating. Pay careful attention to serving size for more accurate calorie count. One way to do it is see how many servings are in the container and multiply by calories per serving to figure out how many calories you would eat if you ate the whole thing. Then you can figure out what it would be if you ate half or a quarter of it.

Move It and Lose It

Burning extra calories can be as simple as standing instead of sitting, taking the stairs at work or walking around the neighborhood before dinner. If you can find little ways to get moving throughout the day, it can make a serious dent in the weight you want to lose.

Keep at It

Remember, a healthy diet and exercise program is a lifestyle change. Once you reach your goal weight, it’s important to continue with the healthy adjustments you’ve made. Keep the yo-yo dieting at bay and keep your sperm happy.

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