Wednesday, November 6, 2013

More about the war on infertile fat people

Over the years I've been blogging you know how passionate I am about advocating for better treatment of those of us with elevated BMIs who are also dealing with infertility.  Too often, otherwise healthy fat folks are told to lose weight & magically we'd get pregnang on our own.  I've posted several articles written based on data gathered from studies on overweight & obese women.  This time, it's the men's turn:
A study cited in Renal and Urology News (November 2013) found that "While those who underwent surgery had increased sexual function as well as increased luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and testosterone, their semen parameters went completely unchanged."
So just like the study I wrote about a year ago about women who underwent gastric bypass surgery not having their fertility improved by the surgery, the same apparently goes for men.  Furthermore , just like their female counterparts, infertile men had a libido increase that may be explained by the fact they were given false hope that this surgery would allow them to finally become a parent.  Once again, if the researchers followed them more long term, the level of sexual desire probably decreased with each cycle they didn't impregnate their partner.
I'm not minimizing the fact that obesity likely does play a part in some people's infertility.  We all know it's associated with many medical problems besides an inability to conceive.  However, if an overweight or obese person doesn't exhibit any of the associates comorbidities, then why suggest people go through ultra-invasive, extremely risky surgery to correct a problem when there appears to be no evidence it will acheive the desired, supposed affect of improved gamete quality?


Dipitie S said...

I need to find the time to write a blog post about this, but I would guess the same contributing factor for a high BMI is also a factor for infertility: the crap food we are basically forced to eat because of convenience, cost or availability. That would be why gastric bypass doesn't work - we need to treat the problem, not fix the symptoms (((hugs)))

Sadie said...

Bravo for writing this! I can imagine it is a frequently encountered bias in the world of reproductive medicine (as elsewhere), and your articulate, thoughtful response is going some way in challenging that. We already deal with enough dismissive, often disinterested care without having to suffer in body image as well - not that infertility itself doesn't do a number on that front!

Rebecca said...

I lost weight, ate organic as much as possible and still I wasn't fertile. Sure I started ovulating on my own and got rid of the PCOS diagnosis but it didn't fix my egg quality issue or the endometriosis.

Meghan Howard said...

Have you ever heard about the condition known as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)? According to research, it is said to be one of the reasons why obesity was linked to infertility.