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Volume 14, Issue 1 (January 2012) 14, 77–81; 10.1038/aja.2011.64

Updates on the relation of weight excess and reproductive function in men: sleep apnea as a new area of interest

Ahmad O Hammoud1, Douglas T Carrell1,2, Mark Gibson1, C Matthew Peterson1 and A Wayne Meikle3

1 Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA
2 Andrology and IVF Laboratories, Department of Surgery (Urology) and Physiology, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA
3 Endocrinology/Diabetes Research, Department of Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA

Correspondence: Dr AO Hammoud, (ahmad.hammoud@hsc.utah.edu)

Received 21 June 2011; Revised 15 August 2011; Accepted 24 August 2011; Published online 5 December 2011


Obesity has a negative effect on male reproductive function. It is associated with low testosterone levels and alteration in gonadotropin secretion. Male obesity has been linked to reduced male fertility. Data regarding the relation of obesity to sperm parameters are conflicting in terms of the nature and magnitude of the effect. New areas of interest are emerging that can help explain the variation in study results, such as genetic polymorphism and sleep apnea. Sleep disorders have been linked to altered testosterone production and hypogonadism in men. It was also correlated to erectile dysfunction. The relation of sleep disorders to male fertility and sperm parameters remains to be investigated. Men with hypogonadism and infertility should be screened for sleep apnea. Treatment of obesity and sleep apnea improves testosterone levels and erectile function.

Keywords: infertility; male infertility; reproductive function; sleep apnea; weight excess

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Asian Journal of Andrology CN 31-1795/R ISSN 1008-682X  Copyright © 2023  Shanghai Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences.  All rights reserved.