London: In a finding that shows how obesity
can harm your sexual health, scientists have claimed that
obese single women are four times more likely to have an
unplanned pregnancy while overweight men are prone to sexual
A team of British and French researchers found that women
with excess weight are prone to unplanned pregnancy despite
having less sex as they are less likely to seek advice on
contraception and use the pill.
They also found that obese men are more likely to
suffer from erectile dysfunction, despite being 69 per cent
less likely to have more than one partner in a year compared
with men of normal weight, the Daily Mail reported.
Dr Sandy Goldbeck-Wood, from the Sexual Problems
Clinic at the Camden and Islington Mental Health Trust in
London, said: "In particular, we need to know why obese women
use less contraception and have more unwanted pregnancies
despite having fewer sexual partners.
"The answers are likely to be complex, with biological,
psychological, and social aspects," Goldbeck-Wood wrote in an
editorial on the study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
The authors, from the French Centre for Research in
Epidemiology and Population Health, wrote: "Prevention of
unintended pregnancies among these women is a major
reproductive health challenge.
"Health care professionals need to be aware of
sensitivities related to weight and gender in the provision of
sexual health services."
The study, led by Prof Nathalie Bajos of France`s
National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM),
looked at the sexual behaviour of 12,364 men and women aged
between 18 and 69 years.
Around half of them were of normal weight while around
2,500 were overweight, with a BMI of 25 to 30, and around 750
of them were obese, with a BMI over 30.
They found that obese men were 70 per cent less likely
to have had more than one sexual partner in the past year but
more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction compared to
normal weight men. Those who were below 30 years were much
more likely to have a sexually transmitted disease.
In women, although sexual dysfunction was not linked to
their BMI. But the obese were less likely to seek advice on
contraceptive or use oral contraceptives. They were more
likely to report an unplanned pregnancy than women of normal