When it comes to fertility, your weight definitely matters. One of the most common causes of infertility in women is due to obesity.
That said, it is not completely a bleak picture at all.
The ASRM or the American Society of Reproductive Medicine states that over 70% of women who are diagnosed with weight related infertility issues are able to get pregnant if they can manage to bring the weight down to a healthier level.
However, the weight gain issue may be the result of many other factors such as hormonal imbalances. Therefore, it may not always be a simple matter of exercising and dieting to reduce your weight. Moreover, infertility in women may be a result of being underweight too, which many may not be totally aware of. Hence, the co-relation between weight and infertility is quite complex and may require the intervention of fertility treatments.
The Impact of Weight on Fertility
Let’s find out the science behind body weight and the vital role that it plays in the production of reproductive hormones.
Impact of Being Overweight:
Estrogen, which is popularly referred to as the female hormone is stored in the body’s fat cells. Therefore, if there are more fat cells in the body, that translates into excess storage for estrogen. Moreover, these fat cells have the capability to produce these female hormones too.
Your weight is among the many factors that typically determine which female hormones will your body produce. For example, you may have observed that overweight or obese girls achieve puberty earlier in comparison to thinner girls. This is due to the varying number of fat cells in the body.
Impact of Being Underweight:
Fertility can be affected even if you are underweight. This is due to the inadequate levels of healthy fat cells that are present in the body which does not support reproduction. As a result, the fat cells generate anti-estrogen that leads the reproductive system to shut down.
This has varying levels of impact on the woman’s body where you will find the process of menstruation completely coming to a halt in underweight women. For those who do menstruate, the cycles can be highly irregular. Moreover, there is really no guarantee if they will ovulate at all.
Impact of Hormones:
The female reproductive process works more or less like a Hyperloop. What this really means is that when the hormones in the body reach a specific level, the other types of hormones present tend to adjust accordingly.
As a result of this, the presence of excessive levels of estrogen in the system leads the reproductive process to more or less shut down in overweight women. This causes total cessation of menstruation even in cases when the levels of estrogen are not that high. The abnormality in itself may possibly have an adverse effect on your fertility.
Your Weight and Fertility Treatment
The excessive or low production of hormones not only impacts your weight but can also have a negative effect on your overall health and well-being.
Not being able to maintain a healthy body weight undoubtedly can have a negative impact on your fertility. Moreover, it may also influence the results of your fertility treatment too.
Research suggests that women with unhealthy Body Mass Index have been known to respond poorly to IVF treatment. Therefore, it is in your best interest to attain the ideal body weight to ensure a successful outcome resulting in a healthy pregnancy as you undergo fertility treatment.
Hitting the ideal body weight not only supports the healthy functioning of your body but also reduces the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Moreover, when you opt for fertility treatment, having the optimal body weight assures that your future child will be healthy too.
How Weight Affects Pregnancy and Birth?
There is an elevated risk in pregnancy for overweight and underweight women. There is a high chance of miscarriages and stillbirths for overweight women. Additionally, it can also lead to complex conditions such as cardiac dysfunction, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and babies with large birth weights resulting in a C-section delivery.
On the other hand, underweight women may experience pregnancy complications such as premature rupture of the membranes, premature birth and babies with low birth weight. Other conditions that are common among underweight mothers during or immediately post-delivery are anemia and bleeding.
Weight Affects Male Fertility Too
It is not always the women who are at fault. Fertility in a couple can also be impacted when the male partner comes with a higher BMI. Men who are overweight often experience erectile dysfunction. They may also have low testosterone levels and produce fewer good quality sperm.
Losing Weight Safely
Crash course diets, enrolling on the nearest gym or subscribing to weight gain supplements is not the answer. The objective is to avoid any extremes without having consulted your healthcare provider first. It is important that you try and loss or gain weight as safely as possible.
For instance, research suggests that losing 10% of the body weight can enhance your fertility despite not being completely out of the overweight category yet. The point is not taking any chances on risking the success of your fertility treatment by trying to lose weight in an unhealthy manner.
Not Sure What You Can Do?
Before you embark on getting to your optimal weight, it is a smart and wise move to speak to your fertility specialist to rule out anyhealth conditions. If you are absolutely suspect that your weight is the primary reason for your fertility issues, then feel free to get in touch with MotherToBe, a premier fertility centre in Hyderabad.
Our team of specialists headed by Dr Vyjayanthi will be able to guide you in understanding the frustration and confusion that generally comes from the inability to get pregnant. We are happy to help you by addressing your concerns regarding weight management and fertility treatment and offer you comprehensive solutions that are best suited to your condition.
Read more: STEPS TO GO-FOR THE BEST FERTILITY DOCTOR