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Infertility and Body Weight

By Tracey Minella

January 25th, 2013 at 9:31 pm

credit: stock images/free digital

What better time than Healthy Weight Week to examine whether your weight may be affecting your fertility?

January is synonymous with New Year’s resolutions of weight loss or getting healthier. As we approach the end of the month, some will be on their way to a fitter, healthier self. Others may be struggling to follow through with their plan.

Here’s reason to forge ahead on the path to a healthier, fertility-friendly weight.

While being just a couple of pounds over the ideal weight for your height and bone structure should not derail your baby-making plan, being grossly overweight…or even significantly underweight… can stop your plan in its tracks. Why?

Weight issues can cause imbalances in hormone levels which play a part in pregnancy, including estrogen. Very heavy women may produce too much estrogen; very thin women may produce too little. Sometimes, being very overweight or underweight can interfere with ovulation and cause women to have irregular or absent periods. These hormonal and/or ovulatory problems can be barriers to conceiving without either medical intervention or a correction of the underlying weight issue. Sometimes, an overweight woman may be suffering from PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a common cause of infertility.

Long Island IVF physicians sympathize with and make every effort to provide treatment to overweight patients, so long as it is medically advisable. Many reproductive endocrinologists refuse to even consider grossly overweight patients for IVF until they lose a recommended amount of weight. Perhaps they fear their IVF success rates/stats will suffer.

Having a healthy BMI, or body-mass index, is important in maintaining optimum fertility. If you feel your weight could be a factor in your inability to conceive, ask your doctor for an evaluation. Consider a nutritionist and/or a personal trainer to help you gain or lose the recommended amount of weight and to get your body in top fertility shape.

Sometimes, a moderate weight adjustment may be all you need to conceive naturally. And even if you still need some medical assistance to get pregnant, each pound you did conquer can only increase your chances for a healthier pregnancy.

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Is your weight a factor in your infertility? What tips do you have to get in fighting reproductive shape?


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