A Lagos-based fertility expert, Kayode Jegede, on Monday said obesity and overweight could reduce the chances of conception among couples.
Mr. Jegede, a medical doctor, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The fertility expert defined infertility as the inability of cohabiting couples to get pregnant after one year of adequate unprotected sexual intercourse.
He said that infectious diseases were the leading causes of infertility in developing countries, however, obesity and environmental changes, among others, have been recognised as major contributors.
Mr. Jegede said modern day living and various lifestyles today had contributed in no small measure to the accumulation of fat and toxic materials in our bodies.
He said such could affect several natural body functions and the ability to reproduce thereby contributing to various degrees of sperm disorders in men and implantation failures in women.
The expert added that overweight and obese men could experience hormonal changes that could reduce their level of fertility and make them less interested in sex.
He said that obese men were more likely to have challenges getting an erection with low sperm quality than men of healthy weight.
Mr. Jegede stated that such factors could reduce the chances of men who were overweight or obese fathering a child.
He said that obesity in women could also affect their chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby.
He said, “Obese women can experience hormonal imbalances, ovulation problems, particularly for obese women having their first baby.
“The risk of pre-eclampsia doubles in overweight women and triples in obese women, as well as the likelihood to have a miscarriage.
“Overweight women also have twice the risk of gestational diabetes and obese women eight times the risk, compared to women of healthy weight.”
Mr. Jegede added that infants born to obese women were more likely to be very big, in need of neonatal care or born with congenital abnormality.
He advised obese individuals to exercise, eat healthy with supplementation in order to boost the quality and quantity of sperm and eggs needed for optimal fertility.
He said that with technology most infertility cases could be treated, adding that research had also proven that there are cases of unexplained infertility.
The fertility expert urged obese couples with infertility concerns to seek medical help after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse; eat organic foods and live a healthy lifestyle.