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Bariatric surgery can make men more virile by increasing testosterone levels

Bariatric surgery can make men more virile by increasing testosterone levels
Testosterone hormone is responsible for muscle mass, body hair and overall masculinity. © Shutterstock

Testosterone is an important hormone and any decrease in its level can have adverse health effects. Read on to know more.

Written by Jahnavi Sarma |Updated : August 23, 2019 11:13 PM IST

Obesity can have a devastating effect on a man's sex life. According to a report in Harvard Men's Health Watch, obesity has an adverse effect on male hormones, sexuality and prostate health. It lowers testosterone levels, may cause erectile dysfunction and lead to a low sperm count. Morbid obesity may even put you at risk of prostate cancer and an enlarged prostate. But these risks can be avoided if you lose weight.

A joint study at McMaster University and University of Alberta in Canada says that men who have undergone bariatric surgery as a long-term way of losing weight may benefit from increased testosterone levels after surgery. But researchers saw no evidence of improvement in sperm quality. The Springer journal Obesity Surgery published this study.


Researchers say that, on an average, the odds of male infertility increase by 10 per cent for every nine kilograms a man is overweight. As the prevalence of both male infertility and bariatric surgery increases, knowledge of how surgical intervention affects fertility outcomes may better inform patient and surgeon decisions on pursuing this procedure.

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Researchers looked at data of more than 1000 patients from 28 studies carried out between 1998 and 2018. All these studies examined the effect of bariatric surgery on male sex hormones or sperm characteristics in patients with obesity. They saw that patients' testosterone levels significantly increased after they had bariatric surgery. Levels of the hormones LH, FSH, and SHBG also improved and levels of the female sex hormones estradiol and prolactin dropped. These hormonal changes improved erectile function after bariatric surgery.

But, at the same time, researchers did not see much difference in sperm characteristics like volume, concentration and the ability to move and build. They concluded that bariatric surgery is effective in increasing male sex hormones and decreasing female sex hormones in obese male patients. But this surgery had no benefits on sperm parameters.


Testosterone is a hormone produced in men by the testicles. It affects a man's looks, sexual development, sperm production and sex drive. This hormone is also important for better healthy muscle and bone mass. A low level of testosterone can have an adverse effect on the health of a person. It can manifest as a low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, obesity and low semen count among others. Let us look at a few health complications of a low testosterone level.

It may affect memory

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association says that men who were given testosterone supplements exhibited better memory than in men with low levels of this hormone.

It lowers blood count

Low testosterone can increase your risk of anaemia. If you have this condition, you may experience problems concentrating, dizziness, leg cramps, sleep disorders and a rapid heart rate.

It can cause sleep disorders

Low testosterone level can induce insomnia and other changes in your sleep pattern. And, testosterone replacement therapy can cause sleep apnoea. This can disrupt your sleep pattern and increase the risk of stroke and heart diseases. On the other hand, sleep apnoea can cause changes in the body and that can lead to low testosterone levels. It is a vicious circle.

It can change your appearance

Testosterone hormone is responsible for muscle mass, body hair and overall masculinity. A low level of this hormone can increase body fat, make bones and muscles weak and cause hot flashes. It can also lead to a decrease in body hair, swelling and tenderness in breast tissue, increased fatigue and can even affect cholesterol level.

It controls emotions

Low testosterone can lead to emotional upheaval. It can make you depressed. You may have trouble concentrating and have memory issues. You may lose motivation and self-confidence. It can increase irritability.

It lowers sex drive

Low testosterone can decrease a man's libido and sexual satisfaction. It can induce erectile dysfunction and infertility by lowering the sperm count. Low self-confidence also has an adverse effect on sex life.


A healthy testosterone level is necessary to maintain good health and reduce the risk of diseases. Production of this hormone decreases after a man reaches the age of around 25 to 30. Therefore, it is important to consciously try and increase its levels in your body. You can easily do this with a few modifications in your diet and lifestyle.

Exercise is one of the best ways to boost your testosterone. Be sure to exercise regularly. This will also help you reduce weight and be fit. Resistance training, like weight lifting, is very effective in boosting the production of testosterone as is high-intensity interval training.

Eat more protein, fat and carbs. Eat healthy and enjoy a healthy testosterone level. Overeating and dieting can both have an adverse effect on this hormone. You can adopt a diet that includes a lot of whole foods with a healthy balance of fat, protein and carbs. Eating a balanced meal is the secret.

Try to keep your stress levels low and indulge in some outdoor activity every day to soak in the sun. Vitamin D is a natural testosterone booster. Vitamin and mineral supplements will also help increase your testosterone levels. You can include zinc and vitamin A, B, C and E supplements to stimulate your sex hormone. And, sleep for at least 7 hours every night.

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