Excess weight affects female fertility
A fine hormonal balance regulates the menstrual cycle. Overweight and obese women have higher levels of a hormone called leptin, which is produced in fatty tissue. This can disrupt the hormone balance and lead to reduced fertility.
The quantity and distribution of body fat affect the menstrual cycle through a range of hormonal mechanisms. The more excess weight and the more abdominal fat, the greater the risk of fertility difficulties.
Excess weight affects male fertility
In men, obesity is also associated with lower fertility. This is likely due to a combination of factors. These include hormone problems, sexual dysfunction and other health conditions linked to obesity such as type 2 diabetes and sleep apnoea (which are both associated with lowered testosterone levels and erectile problems.