Weight loss and male infertility - Fertility Network UK

Fertility Network UK
25,400 members37,217 posts

Weight loss and male infertility


Hi all.

My partner has a low sperm count. Been trying for 3 years. Went to the specialist 1 month ago. I was told I am too fat for help. I am 38 BMI and need to be 30 BMI meaning around 4 stone.

I have have a big girl all my life. I have had all the tests and I have no fertility issue.

But because i am over weight we can't go no further.

I have tried to diet and excessive to no avail I can't seem to shift then more the half a stone.

Has anyone had this issue? I also have a asthma, restless legs and mild sleep apnea. Would I be considered for gastric surgery. The NHS says 40 BMI or above or 35 with a health condition.

Has any one had this via the NHS? I couldn't save enough to do it private... would take 4 years to save for. I have a bad credit so no one will finance it.

Any advice?

Thank you


6 Replies

Sorryto hear of your story so far.

I also had to lose weight. I had to lose 2 stone 7lbs to be considered for funding.

I have always been over weight to a degree.

It wasn't easy but once I got going on diet and exercise I found weight dropped off.

Have you seen your GP? You can be prescribed something that help rid the fat from your body and is called Orilstat, I used it for 3 months and it helped with diet and exercise. It will make you go the toilet and I had to see a nurse every 2 weeks but I would recommend it, you would need to do your own research as well as your GP's consent but maybe worth looking in to.

I cut out all bad drinks except for the odd cup of decaf yes and only drank water. No sweets or goodies unless I really really needed some (time of the month) and ate high protein foods and plenty of fresh veg.

You can message me anytime and I would be happy to share more tips etc.

You can do it!!!. Xx

Losing weight is not easy :( but along mild exercise (e.g., 30 minutes walk daily) I would suggest you of keeping a food diary (if you are not a pen&paper person there are tons of apps which will help you in logging food and exercise. They also show the breakdown of nutrients: a plus if you are a control freak like me :) ). It is the first suggestion (Italian) dieticians offer to their patients. Food logging offers a better understanding of one's calory/nutrient intake, empowering the patient in making better choices for themselves.

Many apps have also a very supportive user base, and offer funny "challenges" which help you to stay focused. I used one called LosIt! several years ago, when I had to lose a few kilos (not for a fertility-related issue!), and it was great. I lost kilogram after kilogram without even noticing, it just thanks to a few tweaks to my diet. A friend of mine was using MyFitnessPal, but someone was recently telling me that FitBit also offers a very valid alternative (and no need to buy the device, you can just use the app!)


Sorry to hear about your journey. Losing weight is really hard. Depending on your area, you may be eligible for gastric surgery but then that might mean that you have to wait a certain amount of time before any fertility treatment. Most trusts will want you to see a dietician before they consider you for surgery.

I’m a GP and have lost weight myself and I would not recommend Orlistat- it’s not on the guidelines anymore as most people put the weight back on when they stop. If you are going to the loo often when you are taking it, means that your diet has more fat in it than it should.

What have you tried so far in terms of calorie restriction? It’s getting the balance between eating less calories and also being able to maintain the food you are eating. I would suggest something like WW or slimming world - I tried my fitness pal but found that I consistently went over the calories songot disheartened. I used WW online and that was more helpful. Aim for a slow weight loss and that you won’t lose weight each week. Your local council website should have some ideas as well. Be honest about what you are eating and drinking but don’t judge yourself or tell yourself off. It’s important to look at your relationship with food.

Sorry for the long post- you can do this. Some people have even gone on to conceive naturally after losing weight! X


I was in exactly the same boat as you last October- my bmi was 40 (18st) when I initially got referred and we had the double whammy of that there is no funding in our area either. I knuckled down over the year though, and got down to 13st 10lb in August this year, which is still overweight, but my BMI was 31.5. We had to pay for it ourselves, so the losing weight time gave us time to save so we could do it.

Would definitely get as much help from your GP as you can, I also got a personal trainer over the year to direct my eating/working out so I was getting the most out of it (I think I never ate so many omlettes in my life haha). It was a painful year, but I'm so glad I did it- I'm a lot healthier now, and I'm now 6 weeks pregnant from IVF! (Woo hoo!)

It's still early days, and alot can happen between now and our scans, but honestly, I believe in you- you can do this. it's really hard, but doing this for you and your new family, is the best motivation ever. I've always been big, and it took IVF to get me to make those changes. However it goes, I think it's been so worth it- from my perspective anyhow.

I wish you the very very best of luck- if you need any help at all feel free to pop me a message xxxxx

I am doing Cambridge diet.. might be worth looking into as no op needed and if you stick to it you lose on average a stone a month.. I am 4 weeks in and down 1.5 stone.. I am planning to cycle in early Jan.

Just wanted to wish you good luck and all the determination in the world. Also, a change of diet for hubby can make all the difference with the sperm. I have read about dramatic sperm result changes just through diet.

Good luck xxx

You may also like...