Weight affects fertility. Here is how.
Fertility is often associated with factors that are beyond one’s control. However, there are some factors that, if addressed properly, can actually increase your chances of becoming pregnant. One such factor is your weight. Obesity and overweight is often determined by calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI) although you may also be considered overweight if you have a higher percentage of body fat despite having a normal weight.
Being overweight can have a significant effect on your fertility potential, overall health, and health of your child. Overweight women tend to:
1) Produce more estrogen than required, which in turn, affects ovulation and disrupts the menstrual cycle.
2) Have insulin resistance, which impairs the ability to produce eggs each month (a condition called anovulation).
3) Have a higher probability of miscarriage and in delivering babies with heart and neural tube defects.
4) Have complications during pregnancy like higher blood pressure, diabetes, or premature birth.
5) Give birth to babies suffering from fetal macrosomia, a condition in which the baby is larger than average (more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces), increasing the risk of getting injured during birth. Babies with fetal macrosomia also have an increased risk to become overweight later in life.
It is important to note that weight also affects the fertility potential of men. In men, overweight is linked to decreased sperm production, low libido, and lower testosterone levels. Overweight men have also higher rate of erectile dysfunction than men with a healthy weight. A recent National Institutes of Health study found that when both partners are obese (BMI over 35), they face lower fertility potential than couples in which only one partner is overweight and/or obese.
According to research, losing weight by 5% to 10% can improve your fertility as well as your overall health. Healthy eating habits and regular exercise can help you achieve your desired Body Mass Index. In pursuing your weight loss, it is important to be patient and to seek the desired and necessary help that gives you the support and guidance in achieving your weight and conception goals.
Opionato is the first digital fertility coaching platform that democratizes access to fertility empowerment and decentralizes access to fertility experts. By providing personalized, unbiased, and expert advice, we optimize your fertility and increase the chances of becoming pregnant.
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