Is Your Weight Affecting Your Fertility?
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant and still don’t have that baby bump you might want to take a look at how much you weigh. If you’re overweight, studies show that overweight and obese women often have infertility problems, and can take longer to get pregnant than women who are closer to their ideal weight. One of the main reasons for this is that the heavier you are the more ovulatory dysfunction you may experience. Many women who are overweight have what is called anovulation which means that they’re not ovulating at all. The more extra weight that you’re carrying, the more irregular your menstrual cycles may become. You need to have a regular cycle if you’re going to conceive without any problems.
Will Losing Weight Improve Your Fertility?
Since your weight and fertility are directly related, you may be wondering if losing weight will actually improve your fertility. Studies show that even if you lose just a few pounds, your fertility and overall health will be improved. Your hormones will be more in balance which can lead to more regular menstrual cycles. Keep in mind that while weight loss can help to regulate your ovulation cycle, it’s not always the solution. Just because you lose weight doesn’t mean that your doctor should stop looking at other causes of your infertility. It’s not always safe to assume that your weight is behind your infertility issues.
PCOS and Fertility
A common condition for many overweight women is PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).The symptoms of this medical condition include obesity, high levels of male hormones, irregular menstrual cycles, and anovulation. If you’ve been diagnosed with PCOS you’ll need extra medical attention to deal with your infertility. Some women who have PCOS will be unable to conceive naturally.
The Shame of Weight-Related Infertility
Many women feel ashamed when they think about talking to their doctor about the connection between their weight and their inability to get pregnant. If you feel uncomfortable talking to your doctor, you shouldn’t. Being overweight is a very common problem for many women whether they’re trying to conceive or not. It’s important that you work with your doctor not only in losing weight but in understanding what’s going on with your body. If weight loss doesn’t improve your fertility, you and your doctor may need to come up with other infertility treatments.
Being Underweight Affects Fertility Too
Being underweight can have a negative impact on your fertility just as being overweight does. Underweight women don’t have enough body fat which can lead to menstrual irregularity and hormone imbalances. Gaining just a little weight can improve hormone balances and help you ovulate more regularly. Even though it may be hard for you to gain weight, even gaining a few pounds can make a difference.
Over-Exercising and Fertility
While some exercise is important to your overall general health, over-exercising can actually decrease your fertility. Don’t overcompensate for your extra weight and try to lose weight by exercising for more than one hour each day. When you exercise too much there is a decrease in the hormones in your body that are necessary for healthy ovarian function. As well, intense exercise will cause the proteins in your muscles to break down and produce more ammonia. Studies have been done showing that ammonia is a chemical that inhibits pregnancy. Always exercise in moderation.
Healthy Exercise for Weight Loss
On the other hand, if you’ve been very inactive then starting to exercise can not only help you lose weight it also improves your circulation and metabolism. These changes can lead to better egg production. Regular exercise can optimize your reproductive system and stimulate your endocrine glands. If you’re going to be adding fitness to your life, start off easy initially so you’re not injured and end up having to quit.
Weight and Pregnancy
Losing weight isn’t just good for improving your fertility it’s also important for going on to have a healthy pregnancy. Women who are overweight during their pregnancy have many more complications than women who are close to their ideal weight. Extra weight leads to a higher chance of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, premature delivery, and birth defects. Women who are overweight are much more likely to have a caesarian delivery and then have post-surgery complications. If you’re already overweight when you conceive, adding pregnancy weight gain of even 15 to 20 pounds can significantly put your pregnancy at risk.
Don’t Ignore Your Weight When Trying to Conceive
Studies show that up to 70 percent of women who have difficulty getting pregnant due to their weight will go on to conceive if they gain or lose some of this weight. Don’t ignore the connection between your weight and infertility even if your doctor isn’t concerned. Understanding the impact that your body weight has on your ability to get pregnant allows you to take charge of what’s happening. Most importantly, whether you need to gain or lose weight always do it slowly so that your body can adjust to the changes and allow your fertility to return.