Impacts of Lifestyle and Anthropometric Changes in Male Partners of Obese Infertile Women on Couples' Fertility - Preliminary Results from a Cohort Study

Presentation Number: THR-136
Date of Presentation: March 5th, 2015

Matea Belan*1, Karine Duval1, Farrah Jean-Denis2, Marie-Helene Pesant1, Marie-France Langlois1, Youssef Ainmelk1, Belina Carranza-Mamane1 and Jean-Patrice Baillargeon1
1Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada, 2Research Center of the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada


BACKGROUND:Although weight loss was shown to improve reproductive health in obese women, it is still unknown whether lifestyle modifications in men improve couples’ fertility. In order answer this question, we assessed the impacts of a lifestyle intervention targeting obese infertile women on their male partners and whether anthropometric or lifestyle changes in partners could influence couples’ fertility.

METHODS:All interested male partners were recruited in a controlled prospective cohort study nested in a randomized-controlled trial. Couples were referred to the Fertility Clinic of a Canadian Academic Center. Participants were considered exposed to lifestyle modifications if their spouse were randomized to the intervention. Partners were evaluated after 12 months or at the time of a pregnancy for their anthropometry and lifestyle. Results are presented as means ± SD. Groups were compared using Student’s t tests. Independent male predictors of pregnancy were determined using stepwise multiple logistic regression.

RESULTS: Compared to the Canadian male population aged 18-39 years1, the 65 participating male partners (age 33.1 ± 6.2 years) were more often obese (47% vs 23%, p<0.001) or abdominally obese (WC ≥102cm : 53% vs 21%, p<0.001), less active (29% vs 58%, p<0.001), and ate less often ≥5 fruits and vegetables (F&V) daily (12% vs 35%, p<0.001) or a breakfast (43% vs 81%, p<0.001). After 12 months (n=46), anthropometry and lifestyle tended to improve in the exposed group, but not significantly. Nonetheless, male partners who conceived lost more weight (-0.32kg ± 4.55 vs 2.68 ± 3.19, p=0.016; % with weight loss: 38.5% vs 10%, p=0.029) and improve more some of their lifestyle. Significant independent male predictors of pregnancy were losing weight (p=0.038 for BMI), eating more breakfasts weekly (p=0.016) and begin to consume ≥5 F&V daily (p=0.050).

CONCLUSION: Our preliminary results suggest that male partners of obese infertile women are often obese themselves and display worst lifestyle habits than the Canadian male population. Furthermore, this is the first prospective study suggesting that male partners who improve their weight and dietary habits also increase the odds for their couple to conceive. Since exposure of male partners to their spouse lifestyle intervention is not effective enough, these results support to develop lifestyle interventions targeted to male partners in order to improve couples’ fertility.


Nothing to Disclose: MB, KD, FJ, MHP, MFL, YA, BC, JPB