How Weight Loss affects Fertility
- Posted on: Jun 18 2014
Getting your body mass index (BMI) close to the normal range value will improve your chances of becoming pregnant. It will assure a healthy pregnancy as well. BMI is a calculation based on your weight and height. A normal BMI range is 19 to 25, a range of 25 to 30 is overweight, and obese would be a BMI of around 30. Most fertility doctors will have their patients to start out slow and work on getting their BMIs under 30 before starting treatment. Experts report that a person doesn’t need to lose a lot of weight fast in order to improve chances of conception success, because any weight loss is helpful.
Weight Gain and Conception
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition which can lead to infertility. However, if a woman with PCOS loses weight, fertility is possible. Hormonal imbalances cause PCOS and will stop ovulation. Many times, the body will not produce enough hormones, and sometimes, it produces too much.
The hormonal imbalances will contribute to weight gain when PCOS is involved. Exercise and a nutritious diet will help begin ovulation again, and even if you receive medication to ovulate, you will still benefit more by losing weight.
Once the woman’s BMI goes over 29, her chances of conceiving go down by four percent. However, a BMI of 25 will normalize the chances of conceiving again. Just a few points down from 29 increases odds, but points over 29 decrease chances of fertility considerably.
At some fertility centers treatment for women to conceive is not available until BMIs are at a certain level. Weight has a big impact on successful fertility treatment and getting pregnant. With pregnancy, extra weight will cause many complications. This can also include a higher risk for high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and an increased chance of a miscarriage.
Underweight and Fertility
Not only is a high BMI bad for conception, but a low BMI can also lead to fertility issues. Lower BMI or underweight patients may experience hypothalamic amenorrhea. This is a condition where menstruation will stop for months due to abnormal functioning of the hypothalamus, which is an area of the brain that regulates sex hormones. Doctors advise an underweight woman to put on pounds for increased chances of conception. This way, the woman will become more responsive to fertility treatments and will get closer to a normal BMI.
In a recent study of 80 obese fertile women, who were 19 to 49 years of age, 44 of them had sexual complains of female infertility. The purpose of the study was to study the effects of different programs of weight loss on female endothelial function and sexual dysfunction complaints in premenopausal obese females.
After being designated into exercise and lifestyle modification groups for a period of 16 weeks, the researchers found that the special female obesity regimen was superior to conventional outpatient measures to produce weight loss and improve sexual function in obese women.
How Male Weight Matters
Men with a BMI over 30 can also experience problems with infertility. For one, they are considered obese, and two, they have a lower sperm count, which can affects fertility in a negative way. One recent study suggested that sperm counts decrease as men gain weight. The extra weight increases estrogen and/or the body temperature in a man’s body, and this negatively affects sperm count.
Losing weight will help boost male fertility. With the estrogen increase, this decreases the sperm in the male opposed to more testosterone. So, when it comes to fertility problems, it’s not just the woman who needs to be “normalized” with BMI and such, the man also needs to contribute by taking care of himself and keeping his weight in a normal range.
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