Fertility and Your Weight

Is it okay to diet before trying to conceive?
Yes. Your chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy are greater if you're close to your ideal weight. Being overweight can cause abnormal menstrual cycles, which can lead to infertility. Overweight women are also more likely to have pregnancy complications such as hypertension and diabetes and more difficult deliveries.

How extra weight influence fertility?


If you have a healthy BMI of 20 to 25, you generally have about a 15 to 20 percent chance of getting pregnant in any particular month if you’re under the age of 35. However, as you gain weight and enter the obese category (BMI greater than or equal to 30), this rate can significantly decline.
Extra weight can interfere with the healthy production of hormones needed for conception. Excess fat tissue can cause you to produce too much estrogen throughout your menstrual cycle, inhibiting fertility. Being overweight can also impact other hormones that cause menstrual irregularities and prevent ovulation.
Additionally, fat tissue may increase cholesterol and abnormal lipids levels, discouraging healthy blood flow to the uterine lining. This can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterine wall or can make keeping a pregnancy difficult.

How Being Underweight Affects Conception?

Being underweight doesn’t affect the fertility of all women. The affects of weight vary with each individual; it isn’t an issue unless it disrupts ovulation and the menstrual cycle. If a woman has a low BMI, has a sufficient diet, and doesn’t exercise excessively, it generally means that she is naturally thin and fertility problems are minimal concerning weight. However, the Southern California Reproductive Center found that if a woman had a low BMI because she followed a rigorous workout routine and had an insufficient diet, she will have difficulty with fertility.
Dr. Wendy Chang, M.D., of ARC Fertility, suggests that a woman whose physical activeness is causing menstrual and ovulation problems should, for the sake of fertility, consider a realistic exercise program and eat a calorie-appropriate diet. Also, keeping yourself psychologically healthy is important too, as it’s not always easy to change one’s lifestyle.


Weight in relation to fertility is a curious thing; too much or too little can contribute to fertility problems. If you have concerns about your weight and fertility, it is suggested consulting a reproductive endocrinologist who can not only provide fertility testing but also recommend various weight loss / gain programs, nutritionists and psychological counseling.


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