Couples who are struggling with fertility could have obesity to blame. That’s right! Being overweight may have an impact on YOUR reproductive health. In fact, research studies by the American Society For Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) state that six percent of women who struggle with infertility are also obese.
This is because obesity changes the way a woman’s body works because fat cells have an effect on estrone, which also impacts the part of the brain that regulates ovarian function.
But remember reproductive issues are not faced by women alone. Obese men are also known to have a non-existent sperm count, according to internal medicine research. Usually, obesity is also considered under erectile dysfunction physical causes.
This happens because obesity elevates the body’s temperature, especially around the scrotum. Obese men have higher estrogen levels but lower levels of sperm-producing hormones. This will not only hinder the sperm production ability but also its ability to swim well.
As such, obesity and infertility have a circular relationship. For instance, many couples who are going through a long fertility journey face many challenges like high-stress levels and constant mood swings. Now, these symptoms are more adverse for a woman or man who is obese and struggling with fertility.
Hormonal Effects of Obesity
Menstrual irregularities are more rampant in overweight women. This is because of the high level of ongoing hormonal imbalance in the body.
Obesity introduces hyperinsulinemia, a state of insulin resistance. Additionally, obese women are subfertile even when ovulating because the body needs to be at an optimum state for conception to occur.
Effects of Obesity on Embryo Quality
Obese women more often create poor quality embryos, thus, the pregnancy may not live to its full term.
After conception, a large number of obese women suffer miscarriages due to poor embryo quality. But this is not always the case. With constant monitoring, there are obese women who have successful pregnancies.
Should You Try To Lower Your BMI To Get Pregnant?
A BMI that is between 19 and 24 is considered normal. However, if the BMI is less than 19 then it is underweight.
When it comes to lowering their BMI, obese men and women should first consult their healthcare provider as they will consider all factors such as age, and any other infertility factors.
This will let the healthcare provider know whether you should consider weight loss or not. If so, a lifestyle change, combined with a tailor made program and group support will be effective,
If your BMI is above 40, weight loss or bariatric surgery is a treatment that is available to anyone who meets these qualifications.
Are Weight Loss Strategies Effective?
One thing is for sure, obesity contributes to significant periconceptional morbidity and difficulty in conception as well as increased pregnancy loss.
It is also a contributing factor to high adverse rates of pregnancy like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. But with increasing information, the right guidelines, and assisted reproduction, obese women can also enjoy childbirth.
Exercise is a great way to get started with conception. If your body is active, then you will be well on your path to good health.
However, it is important to beware of excessive and strenuous exercises as they will have a negative impact on your body.
These types of exercises have also been linked to miscarriages. Therefore, slowly pacing yourself is the best way to go.
Exercising is a beneficial activity for anyone who is dealing with obesity. By adapting exercises into a daily routine, then it is the first step to any weight loss journey.
Take Charge of Your Health
There are times when addressing fertility challenges is simply about maintaining a healthy weight. While weight loss sounds like quite a simple concept, it’s not always as easy in practice.
Needless to say, living with obesity is challenging. And if sticking to the right diet and exercising has not worked, then consulting your doctor about bariatric surgery is worth the consideration.
However, the surgery is only for those who:
- Have tried weigh-0loss programs and nothing has worked
- Have weight-related health issues
- Do not have challenges with substance abuse
If obesity is the underlying cause of your fertility issues, then you should address it before even considering other fertility treatments.
All you need to do is talk to your doctor about how your body weight may be impacting your reproductive health and you are bound to find a solution sooner rather than later.