Changes in hormone levels and diminished sexual quality of life among obese men are related to the degree of obesity, and both are improved dramatically after gastric bypass surgery, says a new study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
"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," said Dr. Ahmad Hammoud, the lead author of the study. "Our results show that the answer to both questions may be 'yes.'"
For the study, the researchers followed 64 men over two years who participated in the Utah Obesity Study, which investigated the two-year morbidity of severely obese men undergoing gastric bypass surgery. The researchers measured weight, body mass index (BMI) and reproductive hormone levels of participants at the beginning of the study and then two years later.
"In our study population, we found that lower testosterone levels and diminished ratings for sexual quality of life were correlated with increased BMI," said Dr. Hammoud. "Subjects who lost weight through bariatric surgery experienced a reduction in estradiol levels, an increase in testosterone levels and an increase in ratings of sexual quality of life."
He also points out that results from this study highlight an association between sexual quality of life and hormonal measures independent from weight, so further studies will be required to determine a cause and effect relationship.
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Source: The Endocrine Society