Infertility and Obesity

According to the National Institutes of Health, obesity is when your Body Mass Index (BMI) is measured at 30 or higher. A BMI of 30 means that you weigh about 30 pounds more than is healthy for you. There is a formula to calculate your own BMI, and there are many online calculators that can tell you your BMI based on your current height and weight.

Obesity can affect fertility in both females and males, in part because certain hormone levels can be impacted by being overweight.

Obesity in women can lead to irregular ovulation and periods which can contribute to infertility.Obese women also have lower success rates with standard infertility treatments and can require more cycles to achieve pregnancy.
In men, obesity can mean lower testosterone levels and contribute to conditions like diabetes, potentially increasing the risk of erectile dysfunction.


But there is good news, too

For couples trying to conceive, making a commitment to losing weight can have a significant impact on your chances of success as well as on your overall health. For women with irregular cycles as a result of obesity, weight loss can often lead to the resumption of regular ovulation, and in some cases you may not require any further fertility treatment. If fertility treatment is still necessary, your chances of success will be higher. For men, testosterone levels may increase, sperm quality may improve and issues like erectile dysfunction may resolve.

Obesity is a significant risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes, which could be a lifelong problem. If you are at risk for this disease, your doctor should perform screening tests to see if you have evidence of impaired glucose tolerance (prediabetes) or frank diabetes. For those with prediabetes, weight loss through diet and exercise is the most effective way to avoid developing full blown diabetes down the road. If you are overweight or obese speak to your physician about devising a plan for sustainable weight loss. Every little bit helps.

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