Weight Loss Surgery Could Increase Testosterone in Men


Research has found that men who have weight loss surgery also see an increase testosterone levels after surgery.

The study looked at men who had undergone bariatric surgery as a long-term way of losing weight.

Bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery is surgery to achieve weight loss among people who have a very high body mass index. There are various different types of bariatric surgery, including gastric band where a band is placed around the stomach, and gastric bypass where the top part of the stomach is joined to the small intestine.

All these procedures can help overweight and obese people to change their eating habits and lose weight.

Reduced fertility

Researchers from McMaster University and the University of Alberta in Canada looked at the impact of bariatric surgery on male sex hormones, sperm quality and sexual function.

Obesity in men is known to cause a drop in sexual function and lower testosterone levels. Previous studies have found that the odds of a man over the age of 45 having low testosterone is 2.4 times higher in men who are obese.

Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues and sexual characteristics.

Obesity is also known to reduce fertility levels. Previous studies have shown that obesity in men directly correlates with fertility – with the odds of a man being infertile increasing by 10% with every nine kilograms that a man is overweight.

This recent study looked at whether the surgery reverses these impacts.

Testosterone levels

The researchers looked at 28 studies, with data from over 1,000 people. It found that testosterone levels in men who had undergone bariatric surgery increased following their procedure. The levels of other male sex hormones also increased, and the levels of female sex hormones decreased.

These hormonal changes meant that erectile function increased after bariatric surgery. The quality and function of sperm wasn’t found to be impacted following surgery.

Hormonal changes

One of the researchers, Yung Lee, said: “Bariatric surgery appears to be effective in increasing male sex hormones and decreasing female sex hormones in obese male patients. However, our review also suggests that bariatric surgery has no benefits on sperm parameters.

“This may be because any positive hormonal changes after bariatric surgery are counterbalanced by nutritional malabsorption and insufficiencies.”


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