Fat Would-Be Dads Lower Chance of Pregnancy

Filed under: In The News, Infertility, Research Reveals

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Gentlemen, you have to lose the baby weight before getting pregnant. Credit: Getty Images

Guys, it's not just that those beer bellies and extra poundage are a turnoff. Your refusal to fight off that flab is keeping prospective moms' bellies from blossoming.

An overweight partner may lower the chances of in vitro pregnancies, according to a new study reported in MedPageToday.com.

That means if you're out of shape and want to be a dad, your best bet is to hop on a bike or dive into the pool before thinking baby, as every ounce of fat matters. According to the findings, every five-unit increase in the man's BMI (a measurement of body fat based on height and weight) was associated with a 28 percent decrease in the likelihood of pregnancy, Zaher Merhi M.D., of Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, tells the site.

As there were no differences in the quality or concentration of sperm or day-three embryo quality (the third day after fertilization) between couples with an overweight male partner and those with a normal-weight male, some unknown factor must explain the association, Merhi says in the report.

If further research confirms the findings of this study, clinicians may need to start counseling men as well as women about losing weight before undergoing in vitro fertilization, rather than focusing on female BMI, Merhi says in the report.

To evaluate the association between an overweight male partner and the success of assisted reproductive technology, Merhi and his colleagues analyzed data from cycles performed at their center from 2007 to 2008.

The analysis was limited to 251 fresh in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection embryo transfer cycles using a woman's own oocytes and her partner's sperm, according to the report.

Overall, 37.5 percent of the cycles resulted in clinical pregnancy, with a lower rate in couples with an overweight male partner (BMI of at least 25) compared with those with a normal-weight man, the report states.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.