Sperm Quality Fails to Improve after Bariatric Surgery in Obese Males

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Sperm quality fails to improve after bariatric surgery in obese males

Circulating Zinc and Copper Levels are Associated with Sperm Quality in Obese Men after Metabolic Surgery: A Pilot Study

In this pilot study, 20 obese males (BMI ≥ 35) who underwent bariatric surgery (4 laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and 16 laparoscopic gastric bypass) were followed for two years.

All patients were given a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement with blood and sperm samples collected, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months post surgery, to monitor for nutritional and hormonal variations, along with possible changes in sperm quality.

As predicted in a previous study, serum testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone and inhibin B concentrations all increased, which is beneficial for spermatogenesis, however serum copper, zinc and ferritin decreased.

Significantly 33% of men were zinc deficient, 27% copper deficient and 20% iron deficient. Sperm quality did not improve significantly with the normalization of the reproductive hormones.

Statistical analysis of these results found that serum zinc concentration is associated with sperm progressive motility, ferritin associated with sperm volume and copper mildly associated with motility.


  1. Small sample size
  2. Results not analysed for possible confounding factors
  3. Ferritin is also an inflammatory marker

Similar studies

Calderón B, et al. (2019). Lack of Improvement of Sperm Characteristics in Obese Males After Obesity Surgery Despite the Beneficial Changes Observed in Reproductive Hormones. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-019-03798-4

Lee Y, et al. (2018). Impact of Bariatric Surgery on Male Sex Hormones and Sperm Quality: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-018-3557-5


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